Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 3.7.22

By March 7, 2022Daily Bread

Good morning!

I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.

Today’s Scripture: Micah 6:6-8 

 With what should I approach the Lord
and bow down before God on high?
Should I come before him with entirely burned offerings,
with year-old calves?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with many torrents of oil?
Should I give my oldest child for my crime;
the fruit of my body for the sin of my spirit?
He has told you, human one, what is good and
what the Lord requires from you:
to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

 

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

Our reading for today lays out very simply what is truly good and what God requires: to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. I invite you to think about those requirements for a few minutes:

Do justice. The prophet Amos would say, even more poetically, let justice roll down like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24).  Notice that justice is not something you just talk about. It doesn’t say talk justice.

It’s not something we just think about, either; it doesn’t say think justice or wish for justice. And we aren’t commanded to complain about the lack of justice.

Rather it says, “DO justice.” Justice is something we do because God is faithful and just.  We are called to work for justice, for fairness, for equity, particularly for those who are weak, outcast, or powerless.

If you look at the ministry of Jesus, his ministry was about justice. His ministry was so often targeted for those who were most in need, those who were most out of the loop, those who had the least power.

Jesus went to the tax collectors and the sinners, those who were the outcasts in his day.  Our call is to do justice.

Love kindness. Or, as the Common English Bible translates it,  embrace faithful love. 

The Hebrew word for kindness is chesed, which actually means “loving kindness.”  This requirement is to love, or be committed to, loving kindness. I like the Complete Jewish Bible translation: to love grace. 

If we are leading a life in response to God’s goodness, then, we will love kindness. We will love grace. We will love mercy. We will embrace faithful love. We will let mercy be our first concern. We will treasure constant love. We will love being kind to others.

Paul said kindness is one of the aspects of the fruit of the spirit. Paul said if we are walking in the spirit, then our lives will bear the fruit of kindness.

So much of the scripture is about simple kindness. And we downplay it a bit because it’s just too simple. We want something a little more complicated, something a little more complex, maybe a little more intricate, certain hoops we need to jump through in order to do God’s will.

In a nutshell, what God requires is a deep love and commitment to grace and loving kindness.

Think about what that means. To love something is to place it in an important place in our lives. To love something is to pay attention to it and to live by it.

Therefore, to love kindness means that we will certainly think about kindness, live it out in our lives, make it important, pay attention to it, think about it and, above all, DO acts of kindness.

Walk humbly with your God.  Note the word, walk. It means being in relationship with God, walking alongside of God, following God, allowing God to be at the center of our living.  All of those are ways of walking humbly with God.

That word, walk, suggests a journey of faith with the Lord. When Jesus describes himself as “the way, and the truth and the life” (John 14:6), he is echoing this image of a journey. Jesus is our way, showing us exactly how we are to walk with God. When he first calls his disciples, he doesn’t say, “Agree to these fine points of theology.”

Instead, he says, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). John Adams, the second president of the United States, in a letter to his granddaughter Caroline, in response to a comment of hers about the riddles of life, wrote, “The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know…. Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. That is enough … So questions and so answers your affectionate grandfather.”  (cited by David McCullough, John Adams (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001), p. 650)

What does the Lord require of us?  It’s simple — though not always easy: “Do justice, embrace faithful love and walk humbly with your God.”

 

Hymn Suggestion: “Jesu, Jesu” by Tom Colvin (1963)

Refrain:
Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you.

Kneels at the feet of his friends,
silently washes their feet,
Master who acts as a slave to them.
Refrain

Neighbors are wealthy and poor,
varied in color and race,
neighbors are near us and far away.
Refrain

These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love,
all these are neighbors to us and you.
Refrain

Loving puts us on our knees,
silently washing their feet,
this is the way we should live with you.
Refrain

Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture.  I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWS

Subscribe to E-News

Subscribe to Newsletter Footer