December 9
Lance Wilkening

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?  Micah 6:8

In the book of Micah, God condemns the people of Israel for breaking the covenant God made with them when God led them out of Egypt. The rulers of Israel have become corrupt; they “abhor justice and pervert all equity….”

“Its rulers give judgment for a bribe
its priests teach for a price;
its prophets give oracles for money.”

After God makes his case against Israel, the people ask if God will be pleased “with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?”

But God has no need for ostentatious sacrifices. Those sacrifices are an attempt by the people to demonstrate their righteousness. Instead, God requires the people to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.

When we walk humbly with God, we make God the center of our lives. God walks beside us, sometimes carrying us, but always with us. It is only when we start to live for ourselves, putting ourselves before others, that we begin to feel the absence of God. God is still there, but our own willfulness and pride blind us to God’s presence.

For us, God made the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus, given unto death for the redemption of our sins. In return we are called to live for others, to look beyond ourselves and give out of the abundance we have been given.

In this Advent season of preparation for the birth of Jesus, we remember that the Son of God was born into humility, laid in a manger, raised, and nurtured by a poor but blessed woman. He lived his life reaching out to the poor and the outcast, rebuking the rich and the powerful, and giving comfort to the sick and the oppressed. Let us live to follow Christ’s example in our dealings with others, and to strive to do justice in an unjust world.

Gracious God, teach us to walk humbly with you. Guide our actions so that they may benefit others and be a reflection of your justice. Amen.

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