What does the Lord require of you?
The heart of the sermon was Micah 6:8, the famous quote about what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Which is the prophet Micah’s answer of the proper sacrifices to bring before the Lord. Gregg spoke about how so often we think we can pull these strands apart, but yet God wants us to remember and practice all three together. He spoke about how too often Quakers divide ourselves into those who do justice on this side and those who walk with God over here. He reminded us that we all need to practice lovingkindness if we are to be faithful to God, and how we all need to walk humbly with God and with each other.
By the end of the sermon, it seemed like Gregg was winding up and I felt the Spirit move among us, or at least in me. He invited us to move into open worship and I was mildly irritated that we still had to sing two songs before things quieted down. I had an almost instant leading to read the passage, “Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief.” It seems like an apt description of my spiritual state these days.
It took me a while to find it (Mark 9:24), although I did know enough to dig out my little King James pocket bible, since the words are slightly different in Chris’s Oxford Study Bible (REB). I read the verse over and over a few times. I waited in hopes that it would just go away. I listened further and felt called to read the whole passage (Mark 9:14-30), about how the disciples tried to cast out the demon but only Jesus could – and he said this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. I stopped to listen to the vocal ministry from two women and waited for a moment of silence to pass after the second woman read from the Psalms.
As I re-read the passage one more time and felt my blood pounding and the buzzing in my whole body that, for me, goes with a true leading to speak in meeting for worship, the singer stood up and asked, “Friends, are all hearts clear?”
I looked up in shock and in that moment I wondered if I should just stand up and read it anyway. I really think I could have. It wasn’t just an empty question.
However, in the same instant I was given to understand that the part of the sermon that was meant for me was about walking humbly with God. That this message that I had been given was indeed a message from God but that God was asking me not to give it. Especially not to stand up and make a dramatic statement and call a lot of attention to myself. Even though I really, really wanted to.
What I resist, God asks me to do. What I want to do, God asks me not to. What good is that?
“The Lord has told you mortals what is good, and what it is that the Lord requires of you: only to act justly, to love loyalty, to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, REB)
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]