“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8 (NIV)
There have been many rumblings in our world as of late. The COVID-19 virus and the unnecessary ending of human lives are two examples. John chapter 15 reminds us that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches called to remain in Him so that we bear fruit. The scriptures do not preface this by clarifying our fruitfulness “only in the good times,” or “when you feel like being fruitful.” No, we are called to remain in Christ at all times, even when we feel the rumblings of the world.
We, as a church, have been reflecting on the words of Micah 6:8 for quite some time now. While each component of this verse is significant, the whole sixth chapter of Micah is stirring. It starts by reminding us of God’s faithfulness-even in hard situations. It moves on to state that nothing we bring as offerings to our God comes close to being as valuable as how we treat others in the way God calls us.
Acting justly, seeking justice, extending mercy, and savoring the mercy God has extended to us are easier to do without thinking about the humility we are called to exude in all circumstances. Name calling and slander come naturally when we feel as though justice has been breached. They also spread effortlessly when we think we have all the answers and the social media platform from which we can shout those answers. Alternatively, we know we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We know it is Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). We also know from the well-known verse in Micah that we are to walk with God in a way that brings Him glory.
The Lord requires us to treat all others well (“act justly”), long for compassion toward others to whom it might be easier and even within our power to call names or punish-yes, even verbally over the internet (“love mercy”), and through it all, to put others before ourselves (“walk humbly”). The part we must never forget, though, is that God wants us to do these things with Him. Just as we tell the kids from the youngest of ages, “God loves you and will never leave you.” My guess is that some of the rumblings of the world would dissipate if we all acted a little more justly, extended a little more mercy, walked carrying a much healthier dose of humility, and thanked God for being with us through it all.