The prophetic understanding of authentic holiness stresses the necessary connection between inner acceptance of God and external religious expression. The performance of rituals is meaningless even perverse if it does not express an inward response to God’s love and a personal commitment to fulfilling God’s will. For the prophet God’s will was not some kind of nebulous theory. Rather, it was simple and clear-cut. There is only one way to live out one’s love of God and that is in love of one’s neighbor. This love is made manifest by practicing justice, by liberating the oppressed and by caring for the poor and needy. Only then will one’s light “shine like the dawn” and one’s wound “be quickly healed over.”
William P. Roberts
“Oh, that all God’s people might be prophets!”
Consider what a prophetic understanding of genuine holiness would mean in the sphere of your own life.
With what gifts shall I come into God’s presence
and bow down before God on high?
Shall I come with holocausts?
Will God be pleased with rams by the thousands?
Must I give my firstborn?
What is good has been explained to you;
this is what God asks of you,
To act justly
to love tenderly
and to walk humbly before your God.
Micah 6:6 -8
Is this not the sort of fast that pleases me
-it is Yahweh who speaks-
to break unjust fetters
and undo the thongs of the yoke
to let the oppressed go free
and break every yoke,
to share your bread with the hungry
and shelter the homeless poor.
To clothe the one you see naked
and not turn from your own kin?
Isaiah 58: 1-12
But now—it is Yahweh who speaks–
come back to me with all your heart,
Fasting, weeping, mourning
Let your hearts be broken not your garments torn.
I hate, I spurn your feasts,
I take no pleasure in your solemnities,
Your offerings I will not accept…
Away with your noisy songs…
But if you would offer me holocausts,
then let your justice surge like the water
and your goodness like an unfailing stream.
Amos 5:21 – 24
He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.
Go put your creed into your deed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Live truth instead of professing it.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.