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The Preacher's Post: Answering God's Call this Lent
“What does the Lord require of you?”
These words from the beginning of verse 8, chapter 6 of the book of Micah will be a recurring theme throughout our Lenten season. So, without giving away too much here in my column for the month, the setup in verses 6 and 7 has the prophet somewhat rhetorically asking whether God’s requirements are grand offerings of great wealth and sweeping gestures of worship and adoration. You can probably already see the turn coming – those verses are just a straw man argument that Micah is going to knock down with the answer coming at the end of verse 8. All God wants is for us “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
It sounds simple enough – at least until you start breaking it down. What does it mean to do justice? How are we to love kindness? In what ways should we walk humbly with our God? The problem with what Micah has written here in the 6th chapter of his book is that he doesn’t give us much to help answer those
questions. In fact, this little passage sounds a lot like an exasperated, “why can’t you guys get this?” moment stuck in the middle of a long, holy rant about all the bad things the people have done and all the ways God is subsequently going to let them have it. If we’re looking for a more concrete answer as to what God is requiring of us, we’re probably not going to find it in Micah, chapter 6. Heck, we might not even find it in the book of Micah at all!
But maybe that provides our first hint as to what God is wanting from us – we need to spend some time getting in touch with the Divine. We could collect all the concrete examples of what doing justice or loving kindness might be, but they won’t mean a thing if they don’t make sense to us and help us walk faithfully in the world. Maybe we start with one of the simplest and easiest examples of walking humbly with God we can think of: prayer. I know this might not be the mind-blowing revelation you’ve come to expect from me (sorry, that was a little sarcasm), but any of us who’ve embraced prayer as a way of opening ourselves to God will already know that a few moments spent listening for the Spirit can lead to hours upon hours of life-changing discernment and discipline and reflection.
So, I hope you’ll join me on this Lenten journey by praying for that the Holy Spirit will be present with us and will open us to the gifts God can offer. I won’t tell you I’m sure about what God is necessarily, but I can tell you that I’d sure love to find out! I hope you are, too, and I’m looking forward to hearing what God might share with you!
Yours on the journey,
Christian Church of Bremerton is a diverse group of people seeking to
respond to the vision of God's purpose revealed through Jesus the
We believe this vision calls us to be an intentional community, which engages persons in Christian practices. These practices include the Lord's Supper, joyful worship, Bible Study, prayer, service, and inclusive hospitality. We anticipate being open to all people, discerning how we can respond to needs within and beyond our congregation. As a community we will listen to and bear one another's burdens, and work on behalf of justice for all God's people.
To embrace and manifest Christ-like relationships in our community, we desire to communicate Jesus' death on the cross and bear witness to His resurrection as a sign of hope in this world. We seek to realize this hope by finding ways to overcome the forces that degrade, enslave and oppress God's creation.
In this vision we seek to know, to discern, and to act on the Holy Spirit's guidance to become an expression of God's new creation through our personal gifts and resources. In our actions we strive "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God." (Micah 6:8c)