"God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave me this Message for them, for all the people and for the priests: "When you held fasting every fifth and seventh month all these seventy years, were you doing it for me? And when you held feasts, was that for me? Hardly. You're interested in religion, I'm interested in people." Zechariah 7: 4-6 (The Message)
Often times we flip right past the Old Testament. We skip by the books with the names we can't pronounce and the odd stories that we struggle to understand. We get to the "good stuff"- the stories about Jesus and the teachings of Peter and Paul. But we've ignored the preface- the reason for those stories....the explanations that help us understand what Jesus and Paul are talking about.
Zechariah's words are put into action by Christ. Jesus annoyed the Pharisees of his day because he cared about people more than he cared about religion. He dismissed rules so that he could help people. That was extremely irritating for the class of people that knew the law (religion) well, and expected Jesus to abide by it....even to the point of ignoring people to follow the rules. Of course, Jesus attended to people, and suffered the consequences.
I think sometimes we get too swept up in our own religion- we think we know what's right and expect others to know as well. So when they mess up, we lack compassion. I know I often get caught up in what "needs" to be done for church...and I wonder how many people I've not cared for because I'm worried about the tasks of church & religion.
Care more about people than you do about religion.