I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the LORD,
I take no pleasure in your solemnities;
Your cereal offerings I will not accept,
nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.
Away with your noisy songs!
I will not listen to the melodies of your harps.
But if you would offer me burnt offerings,
then let justice surge like water,
and goodness like an unfailing stream.
Amos 5:21
It’s rather ironic that this particular reading is scheduled for today, on Independence Day, which is a holiday in the United States. Most Americans will be celebrating with barbecues, attending parades and fireworks displays. Most of us will find it difficult to fast. Some

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