For Christians, one of the most popular verses in the Bible comes from a small book in the Hebrew Scriptures from the prophet Micah. You may know very little about this prophet, and absolutely nothing about the context of his writing, but it is likely that you are at least familiar with one verse from this short book. You may even have it memorized. I have a calligraphy of it hanging in my office as a daily reminder of what I am to be about: “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
Certainly, the three “requirements” Micah lists sound about as good as any for us to resolve to follow. However — and there’s the rub — there is much disagreement among people of faith as to what this actually means for our day to day living.
Seems like if we are “required” to do something it would be nice if we truly understood what that might mean. “Justice” certainly means anything from violent revenge to unquestionable fairness. And walking with humility while boldly enacting justice — well, that’s just awkward! And kindness? Is that the sticky sweet smile hiding harsh judgment? Is kindness any way to deal with injustice or evil? Further, what about this notion of “requirements” from God — are we being graded? Are there levels of reward (or punishment)?
So, this Sunday, let’s look at what this prophet might have to say to you and me — citizens of a world far larger and more complex than the one to which these powerful words were spoken over 2500 years ago.
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday!