14 August 2019Micah 6:1-8
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (v. 8)
Psalm: Psalm 27
I wonder what you think God is like. It may seem such an obvious question, but sometimes it’s good to ask the obvious. Is God the God of Philosophy – omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient – which being translated is "all powerful, every present and all knowing"? To some extent many of us start from this point. "But of course – that is the definition of God!" Hebrew Scriptures, however, present a very different idea. The Hebrew God hurts, and aches, and gets upset, and feels misunderstood! In the New Testament we have Jesus – "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Here we read of a God who is most clearly revealed on the cross, vulnerable, in agony and longing for the well-being of people.
To answer the question ‘what is God like?’ is a good starting place to discover what we think God wants! It is a crucial question. God who made all things in an outpouring of love, who keeps and nurtures all things with compassion and kindness and who calls all things to completeness and fulfilment in Jesus; this God has a claim on us! Knowing this claim and seeking to fulfil it has taken up huge amounts of human religious energy. In the most wonderful clarity, Micah cuts to the heart of how we might answer the question.
It isn’t our church programmes, liturgical renewals, worship bands, outreach, Bible studies and sermons; it isn’t even a well-run Methodist Conference in all her beauty. It is to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God". I am sure that as we seek to do what the Lord requires; all the rest will be shaped by that searching. But the searching matters, and like the kingdom, the rest will be "added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
- Think practically for today – how might we "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God"?
- What do all their sacrifices and rituals remind you of?
- What difference does it make if God is vulnerable?