How do we approach God? Do we bring gifts or sacrifices or votive offerings? Do I need to have some else do it for me? Should I find a priest or intercessor who can prepare the way for me?
We are not alone in wondering about this. In the Old Testament, the prophet Micah asked exactly this same question, saying:
Micah 6:6-8 “With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my first-born for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
What was the answer that came from God’s spokesman? Not expensive gifts, or numerous sacrifices, and certainly not anything like the abominable offerings that the pagans gave to show their devotion. No, nothing external at all. Just practice justice to people, love kindness and show it and be humble.
In one way, these things are simple and every last person, regardless of resources or standing, can do them. But to really, truly, in the sight of God—who knows all things and the thoughts and motives of our hearts—be just, kind and humble—that makes buying gifts and sacrifices seem simple and easy, doesn’t it? But what does God really want? We know, don’t we? Be just, kind and humble.