When all is said and done...
Week 9, Day 3
Micah 6:6-8 When all is said and done…
‘With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
We are the church. We are the Body of Christ on earth and in Mt Vernon and everyplace else we wander in to. So, when all is said and done, or as things are being said and done, what does this mean?
We’ve seen, through the words and stories of our Scriptures, that we have been placed in a particular relationship to our neighbors, to the strangers and immigrants among us (and those who need a place among us), to the powerless and oppressed in our midst and, in a very fundamental and important way, to the planet itself—our sustaining, yet fragile, home.
And we have been called:
Love God with all your heart, mind and strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Do to others what you would have them do to you.
Religion that is pure before God is this: care for orphans and widows.
How does God’s love abide in anyone who…sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
God saw all that God had made and indeed it was very good.
But to my mind, the passage we are reading this week from the Hebrew prophet Micah perhaps says it best:
…what does the Lord require of you?
Walk humbly with your God.
Do justice—do the right thing. Think for a minute and you will almost always know what the right thing is.
Love kindness—the word is often translated as “mercy”. Choose to be the compassionate one in the room.
Walk humbly—you might think there would be no other way we could walk with God, but apparently we need to be told.
This passage always reminds me of the words a friend and mentor of mine spoke just before he died. Sitting by his bedside his daughter asked him, “Dad, how should we live?” “Do the right thing”, he told her. “Even when it costs you something, do the right thing.” Then he said to her, “And always—always, act in love”.
Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly.
Be the church.
Prayer: God of justice, show us the right way. God of mercy, show us kindness. Guide our toddling footsteps, in humility, at your side. Amen.