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Not ritual, but justice, faithful love and humility

October 3, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Micah 6:6-8

6 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?
7 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?
8 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.

During the BE campaign, we will offer you a specific action idea each day (also on changeable billboards around KC).

 

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Daily Reflection & Prayer

The prophet Micah defied the kingdom of Judah’s urge to practice religious ritual and “conspicuous consumption” side-by-side. On God’s behalf, he urged an altered agenda: “Do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” * Resurrection serves the same God as Micah. One of our goals, notably in our BE campaign, is to “address injustices and build bridges of healing” today. Like Micah, we believe weekly pious rituals matter less than treating people justly every day.

  • Micah kept ironically proposing bigger and bigger sacrifices in verses 6-7 to try to please God. He ended with child sacrifice, a ghastly practice some Israelites may have adopted (cf. 2 Kings 17:15-17). What do the three divine requirements Micah listed tell you about what God is like? “To walk” was the Hebrew way to identify a person’s lifestyle. In what ways does your lifestyle reflect your choice to be the person your God calls you to be?
  • In what ways do your culture and community fall short of doing justice, embracing faithful love and walking humbly with God? Scholar Gary Smith said, “Micah’s delineation of God’s requirements… includes no negative statements about what is forbidden to the Israelites. It presents a positive case of what God thinks is best for humankind.” * How can you actively move yourself, your family, your workplace and community toward God’s best for humankind?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, my goal is to walk justly, kindly and humbly with you. Lead and guide me into the newness of life that you died and rose again to offer me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley serves as the Online Connection and Care Pastor at Resurrection. After seven years of higher ed in religion, she finally understands that she can't figure out God (no matter how hard she tries). She’s leaning into the challenge to move from a thinking-based faith to loving God with both her head and heart.

As we begin the first Monday in the BE Campaign, this Scripture couldn’t be a better reminder. We collectively step outside of Sunday to get to work in the world with today’s Scripture challenging us to move beyond honoring God with ritual, and to look to our very lifestyles in order to honor God.

It reminds me of this quote: “How we spend our days is ultimately how we will spend our lives.” The lifestyle of faith lived out in days–every day ordinary walking-around faith.

When I think about this for myself, I think about the power of a day. The sun rises and it sets, and each time it rises once more is a chance to deepen or a chance to try again. There are times in our lives where we ask God what we can do, what our purpose is, or for a way we can get involved in God’s work in the world. I wonder if God might answer us similarly to what we find in Micah: form a lifestyle around doing justice, practicing kindness, and cultivating humility.

So, as we take this step together fully into the BE Campaign, I hope we can focus on it one day at a time, working to put one thing into practice each day, witnessing how those days become how we live our lives.

© 2022 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* BE campaign posters and shirts adapt verse 8 to say “BE Just. Kind. Humble.” ‘Do justice’ “is a very broad term which involves right and fair relationships in the community.” ‘Embrace faithful love’ “is the Hebrew term hesed…. this term has a general sense of faithfulness and reliability, but it is especially used in connection with covenant relationships…. it also implies kindness in dealings with others.” ‘Walk humbly’ “is a rare Hebrew term, occurring in the Old Testament only here and in Proverbs 11:2, where it is contrasted with ‘proud.’” (From David J. Clark and Norm Mundhenk, A Handbook on the Book of Micah. New York: United Bible Societies, 1982, p. 234.)

** Gary V. Smith, The NIV Application Commentary: Hosea, Amos, Micah. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001, p. 555.