6 With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 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.
Over these last few months, we have had the opportunity to think about what worship means. For a long time, worship for many of us was something we did on Sunday morning in a church building. That is one way we can worship. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened and we had to suspend in-person worship for a season. We were able to remember that the worship of God is so much more than just a building space where we sing. Worship is about praising God and we can do that together even as we are apart. Distance does not stop the church from worshipping God and encouraging one another.
More recently, we have been reminded that part of our worship is the way we live our lives. We have seen the protests that have happened after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. This passage from Micah 6 bears that out. The prophet asks how he should come to worship God? How much should he bring? What great offering is required? The offering that is required is a life lived according to God’s call. What does the Lord require? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
We as Christians, as those who worship God, must live our lives seeking justice, seeking to be merciful and humbly walking with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a chance to do that today. We have a chance to take time and humbly listen to our black brothers and sisters. A great place to start is these articles: first by Rev Donald Smith, the director of Ethnic Ministries for the North Alabama Conference, https://www.umcna.org/postdetail/14011161, and second from the bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, https://www.umcna.org/postdetail/14018236.
This is an important time in the life of the church universal, but especially here in the United States. If you have any questions or comments regarding these articles, please reach out, I would love to have a conversation with you as we all seek to be the best church we can be going forward.
Going back to the passage from Micah, it shows the kind of life I want to to live, a life I think we all aspire to live. May we humbly seek God’s grace. May we generously give mercy. May we seek justice wherever it is needed. May we be God’s people in this world.