“If I am a master, where is the respect due me? … It is you priests who show contempt …”
God teaches us to honor people who have authority. Honoring implies giving great weight to the words and instruction of the person honored. Honor and respect are closely connected, and in our reading for today God interchanges the words.
All relationships with others call for respect. Loyal and committed friends respect each other. So do spouses and other family members. Respect is also vital in any relationship of authority. But can there be any real respect without the essential respect for God?
When we develop even a basic understanding of God, can we do anything less than honor him? Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, had the calling to take Israel to task for their treatment of the Almighty. The people’s complacency with worship and their lack of respect for God may remind us of situations we still see today. An attitude of “that’s good enough for God” is in dire need of correction.
Is our lack of respect for life—whether for the unborn, the diseased, or the disabled—a lack of respect for their Creator? Can we hear God’s Word from Malachi challenging us to review our attitude toward our heavenly Father? The way we work and the way we worship say a great deal about how sincerely we honor our Maker. Respecting God means bending our knees!
Forgive us, Father, if we honor you with only our lips while showing respect for things that don’t deserve it. Convert our minds and hearts, O Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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