What does the Lord require of us? In a never-ending season of uncertainty, this has never and will never change: to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God. Together, these three are the beautiful way of life the grace of Jesus Christ equips us to walk.
Kindness and justice are accessible words;they are part of our everyday lexicon. Even if we don’t properly understand them, they are words we use. Words we affirm. Everyone claims to be on the side of justice. Everyone claims to be kind.
But humility? Miss us with that one.
Humility is an antiquated word. Maybe our ancestors sought to be humble, but we are the Hamilton era. We’re not gonna miss our shot—we’re determined to make our mark. We might not know exactly what humility means, but we’re still pretty sure we’re not interested in having it.
And we’re wrong. Really wrong. Dead wrong.
I hope you’ll join us virtually and listen in to find out why this humility (that we don’t want) is exactly what we need.
God requires something of us. Three somethings, actually, according to the prophet Micah; to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. That is the beautiful way that the gospel of John is talking about when it declares that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” The good news is that, whatever God requires us to do, God gives us the grace to accomplish. So what is this beautiful way that God is inviting and empowering us to walk into?
This week, we talk about kindness. Kindness is having a marketing moment right now—t-shirts, mugs, Instagram filters. But there’s a backlash as well. Does loving kindness mean we have to focus on making everyone around us happy all the time? Does loving kindness mean we have to throw our healthy boundaries out the window? Many times, people experience talk of injustice as divisive and hostile, so is there even a way to do justice and love kindness at the same time?
Jesus calls us to new life. When we are filled with his Spirit, we become totally new creations. And it is grace that gives us the power to live the way the Lord calls us to—the beautiful way.
We become new, but the beautiful way is not new. It’s the same way God was teaching Adam and Eve when he walked with them in the cool of the evenings. It’s the same way of living laid out in the covenant God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. It’s the same way the judges and prophets continually called the people to return to. The beautiful way of living is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God. It’s the old way that, by the power of the Spirit, makes us new.
But what does it mean to do justice? No one consciously chooses injustice over justice. We all find a way to justify ourselves—to define justice in a way that proves our actions are just. But how do we know that what seems like justice in our eyes is, in fact, justice in God’s eyes?
We turn to scripture. The Bible reveals to us clearly what justice looks like in a fallen and broken world (hint: it usually looks like good news for the powerless, not the powerful). I hope you will listen in as we explore the story of Naboth’s vineyard and discover how God intervenes through a prophet to demand justice of a King.
This Sunday, we begin a new worship series called “The Beautiful Way,” a four-part exploration of the way Jesus calls us to live. And the whole month is going to center on just ONE verse from the book of the prophet Micah:
What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.
I remember singing these words in one of the first songs I learned in church choir. I bet you’ve learned a version of it yourself, have worn it on a t-shirt, or have hung it on a wall somewhere. In the coming weeks, we’ll break down what it means to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. But in our haste to get to the beautiful words, let’s not skip past the really surprising part.
Does God require something of us?
Doesn’t Jesus’ death and resurrection mean that we have an amazing grace that frees us of obligations? Isn’t God in the business of loving us no matter what? If we are saved by grace, how can we be required to do anything?
This is another one of those scary news/good news situations. The scary news is that we are God’s people and, as such, God requires things of us. But the good news of the gospel is that whatever God requires of us, God’s grace will empower us to accomplish.
Listen in to hear more about how beautiful it is to live this way.