Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost – October 20, 2019
There are many things we can do to try and be in favour with God. None of the ones mentioned, such as giving all kinds of offerings or sacrifices are necessary. 1.) When we reach out, we don’t need to do anything, we need to be shaped by God to be caring people. What do caring people look like?
It’s a very simple list of things that God does in us: Do, love, walk. That’s God’s short list. 2.) Noticed? They’re all action words. That’s what God requires, nothing more.
“Do” is the first one. Do justice. I think justice is doing what is right simply because it’s truth in action, even if it’s uncomfortable or not popular.
One of the mistakes we make is in thinking that life has to be fair. Justice is not about being fair. Johnny Carson once said: “If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.” Justice isn’t about being fair. Justice is about doing what is right in God’s eyes.
Sometimes God takes care of the justice. But you and I are called to do justice. This we can do wherever we reach out and get involved.
Secondly, “love.” We are called to care by loving kindness, or to love mercy as some translations have it. Love is the second action word.
To live on mission with Jesus, we have to pay attention to issues where we can love kindness or mercy. Mercy is required by God.
A worthwhile question to ask yourself, is: Do I simply live in my community, or do I live for my community?
There’s a big difference. Consider how you can reflect God’s heart for the poor, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the strangers and aliens, the migrants and refugees, the hopeless and helpless, and the last, the lost and the least. Love kindness. 3.) One: Do justice, and two: love kindness.
The third action word, is to walk.
To walk humbly with God is living in fellowship with God in modesty and without arrogance. This is at the very heart of everything in God’s purpose for us, that we live in close relationship with God. To walk humbly with God means we must understand that God is in control. Would it mean that, to walk humbly actually won’t necessarily mean to give generous handouts, but rather to establish trust with those we encounter in our neighbourhood? Perhaps walking humbly might mean to have patience and to allow those in need of change be the ones to determine their necessities, goals and pace. 4.) Might this call for us to walk more humbly with our neighbour instead of rushing in with our agenda?
We need to show up and do, love and walk. Walk humbly, trusting that God brings the fruit to an attitude of care.
- Leslie C. Allen (1987) The books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah – The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, pp. 363-375.
- Some of the main points in this message were gleaned from a sermon on sermons.com, titled “The short list” (CSS Publishing Company, Inc., From the Pulpit, by Billy D. Strayhorn)
- From an article on Missional Challenge, “Day 19 – Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” at https://missionalchallenge.com/day-19-do-justice-love-mercy-walk-humbly/
- From an article on MB Herald, “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly – Implications of Micah 6:8 for global mission” at https://mbherald.com/do-justly-love-mercy-walk-humbly/
Copyright 2019 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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