Daily Reflection
July 24th, 2006

Michele Millard

Cardoner at Creighton
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Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
Psalm 50:5-6, 8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23
Matthew 12:38-42

Micah is one of those obscure prophets. His story is a short one - just 7 chapters - which is tucked in the midst of other small books with the stories of other obscure prophets. He might have been a "minor" prophet, but today's readings from Micah have something major to say about how to please God.

Micah asks the question, "How do mere humans show respect to an almighty God? How do you appease God for your sins?" He goes on to list what only a mere human could imagine; the offering of our best. For his audience, it was an armload of offerings topped off with yearling calves, or thousands of rams with buckets and barrels of olive oil. He even suggests the ultimate sacrifice, that of the firstborn child to cancel their sin. What would that list of human imagination be for us in our culture? Would God require us to offer up a Mercedes? Perhaps our season tickets for basketball? Maybe our job? Hours spent at church? Money given to charity?

The response from Micah is that God has already told us in His word what we need to bring before Him. God has made it plain in describing what He is looking for in men and women; it's simply three basic approaches to living our lives:

1. To do justly: This first approach to life is simply to treat others with dignity and respect that all children of God deserve. Do I treat my neighbor with fairness and equity? Do I challenge systems in our culture that exacerbate unjust treatment of people? Do I treat others as children of God with equal love and dignity? Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone to ensure that justice is experienced by those around me?

2. To love mercy: This second approach to life is simply to be compassionate and loyal in our relationships. Mercy is a trait intrinsic to the character of God shown in love to those who do not deserve it; it is not a trait natural to the character of humans. As we are in relationship to God, we reflect his character in our response to others. Am I kind and compassionate toward others? Does this kindness and compassion take tangible forms in what I do for others? Do I suspend judgment toward others and treat them with the same mercy God has shown me?

3. To walk humbly with our God: This last approach to living our life is to simply be in relationship with Him. Walking humbly with God implies being together on a journey and having fellowship with each other. In this relationship, He asks us to not take ourselves too seriously, which might put a barrier between us and Him. Instead, He asks us to take Him seriously and with humility, vulnerability and openness, to be with Him. Am I on a journey with God? Do I approach Him with openness and vulnerability?

What does God require of me? It's not rocket science or huge sacrifices on our part; it is simply to live our lives in relationship with Him and others, with justice, mercy and humility.

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