Biblical Words 
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23; Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40.
What does God really want? Justice, mercy, and pilgrims who live by faith.
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20.
Justice and Mercy – The eighth-century prophets declared these more important to God than sacrifice and religious ceremonies. Especially in three famous passages in Amos, Micah, and this Sunday’s reading in Isaiah.
Amos voiced God’s outburst, “I hate, I despise your festivals… But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:21-24, NRSV).
Micah of Moresheth gave instruction concerning proper service of God: “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? … He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:7-8).
In our Isaiah passage, the prophet proclaims the “teaching [torah] of our God” to the notorious sinners of Jerusalem and Judah (verse 10).
A “torah” is an instruction by priests about what God requires of those seeking access to the holy place. We hear the original life-situation of such a torah in the Micah passage referred to above.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (verse 32).