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“Leave your gift at the altar”

From the January 2024 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Sacrifice in worship takes different forms. In many early cultures, showing respect for tribal gods through animal sacrifice was central to worship. This practice was found among the ancient Hebrews, going back at least to Noah thousands of years ago (see Genesis 8:15–21).

Many centuries after Noah, the prophet Micah encouraged showing respect for God in a very different way—offering our purest attitudes instead of offering the purest of animals. Micah asks, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?” 

Then he answers, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:6–8).

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