I was previewing a talk for the upcoming women’s Emmaus walk in our community, and I saw a familiar scripture in an entirely new way.
Before, I’ve always liked the passage, but I saw it as what to DO rather than also how to BE. I saw it as a description of how to live – what to do to obey God – rather than anything else or anything larger. For that reason I’ve always found this passage incomplete.
Then I listened to Beth’s “Changing our World” talk. She used this scripture as a backbone in the structure of what she had to say. (That may be the basic outline as given or her own innovation, I don’t know). Look at it this way:
- Walk Humbly with God – start with yourself
- Love mercy – or as The Message says, “be compassionate and loyal in your love” – expand your action to your neighbor
- Act justly – Then to the world.
I’m not sure why I didn’t see the parallel before.
Act justly and love mercy – Love each other
The Micah passage is certainly about how we live our lives – it is about what we DO. In some ways it, in my mind, walks hand in hand with James 1:27 – “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself form being polluted by the world.” The Micah passage is also a passage about the way to BE – how to relate to God and to each other, as the passage from Matthew is.
Do you know what it is, JtM? It’s “cross-shaped.” I just didn’t expect to see that in Micah.
Image: Bird bath on the VA grounds that I found during a lunch walk yesterday. It reminds me to look more deeply.