We all know the experience of receiving a gift that we neither liked nor needed. Sometimes we receive such gifts with gracious delight, like when a young child presents us with their latest artwork. On other occasions we look at the miss-chosen gift with a sense disappointment that someone who knows us so well, understands us so little.
As people of faith, our religion is our gift to God, so it is wise for us to consider what kind of gift God likes to receive. Is your choice of worship something that genuinely delights God, or is it simply your own preferences that you are following?
This question goes back a long way, and it seems that we humans have a bad habit of giving God what we like, without considering what God likes. Through Isaiah, God said to the worshippers in Jerusalem, "I do not delight in the blood of bulls or goats. Incense is an abomination to me.” Through Amos he said, "Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.”
So what does God like? Isaiah, Amos and the the other Old Testament prophets all give the same answer. Jesus’ brother, James, put it like this: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this - to care for orphans and widows in their distress.”
If you really want to put a smile of God’s face, give some of your time or money to help someone who is not able to help themselves.