This week’s lectionary is often a favorite of ours. “Ours” being progressive people of faith.
Micah 5:2-5a, 6:6-8, mostly Micah 6:8 is one we turn to for guidance and comfort.
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?
Don’t get me wrong, the opening is beautiful and leads us to this moment. What should we bring before the Lord is an important question. It is reminiscent of Romans 8 for me. There is not gesture grand enough to repay God’s kindness, just as Paul reminds us there is nothing within our control to separate us from God’s love.
But the essence of the text, the question of the day is this one: What does the Lord require of you?
Require is a word I get stuck on. Maybe it’s simply the contrarian in me. I am not against anything Micah says after it. I believe it is fundamentally part of my faith to seek justice/act justly, love kindness/mercy, and walk humbly with God.
So the question for preaching is this one, what does that look like today?
Of course, this is a deeply personal question for each person of faith to wrestle with. You could give your congregation time to ponder- What does seeking justice/loving kindness/walking humbly look like for you? For our community? For our world?
Maybe you’d like to flesh it out a little. Here are some ideas:
I was first introduced to Naomi Wadler at the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. The then 11 year old have a three and a half minute speech on behalf of the women of color who go unrecognized from violence.
I found this video of her speaking at the Women in the World Summit that explains you are never too young to be a follower of the faith and seek justice for yourself, and for those around you.
My congregation and I did a summer series on the Gospel according to Mr. Rogers. He is quoted as saying there are three rules of success. The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.
I think it’s important that the congregation really see themselves in this. I love this video on the science behind Random Acts of kindness.
Walk Humbly with God
Walking humbly is not easy. As I started to think of examples of people who embodied true humility I realized that I started to think about people who struggled. Who lives through real crises of faith, of life and death, who walked in the shadow of the valley of death and fear no evil.
Maya Angelou is one of those people for me.
Through all the adversity, through all her trials and tribulation she still lives with grace and hope. Amazing.
This is her 90th birthday and the OWN network is doing a series on her, in this video she captures exactly what I think walking humbly with God looks like.
When I look at faith this way I don’t get so hung up on the word “require” in fact, it’s kind of comforting. As I walk through life and every situation (*ahem* midterm elections) I can ask myself “What is God requiring me right now?” Seek Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly.
The Reverend Shannon Meacham currently serves Ashland Presbyterian Church in the Baltimore suburbs. She lives there with her husband Reverend Derrick Weston and together they raise their four children. You can find her musings about any and all subjects on her personal blog, Pulpit Shenanigans, or listen to Pub Theology Live podcast, of which she is a co-host.
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