Monday, January 24, 2011

Epiphany 4a - Micah 6:1-8

The controversy God has with the people of Micah’s time is that they prefer ritual righteousness to righteous acts, though truth to be told they’re wearied by rituals as well. God takes Israel to court to work out a settlement to renew the covenant and get Israel back on a payment plan. The surprise is that the sacrifice for the sin of soul will not be more of the same, thousands of rams, ten thousands of rivers of oil, or God forbid, the first born fruit of one’s body. Instead the righteous rituals of the new deal will be to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. The difference is ritual righteousness; sacrifices that take the place of or pay the penalty for the sin of the soul can be and are often superficial. Offering at the altar might cost the pocketbook and take some time but ultimately nothing has to change. You pay the fine, take the points on your driver’s license and still ignore the speed limit. (except on 820 in Hurst, TX just north of exit 22) But if the sacrifice for the sin of soul is to do justice the soul that oppresses is healed. If it is to love kindness the soul that is mean is mended. If it is to walk humbly with God the arrogant soul far from the Lord is restored to a right relationship. That doesn’t mean the sin sick soul can’t turn Micah 6:8 into a slogan and stamp it on t-shirts and hats and posters and coffee mugs and bumper stickers and like wearing a WWJD bracelet feel good about taking stand while not doing a damn thing to do what God demands and make a difference in this world. Truth is this remedy for the sin of the soul is a cure but few are willing to swallow the pill for fear it will mean a significant lifestyle change, which of course it will, but that’s the whole point isn’t it?

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. It's often used as a catchy slogan when it's meant to be a way of life. Micah 6:1-8 is a yardstick I think, that measures just how very far we have fallen. As it was intended for believers, it is one of the yardsticks we need to use to measure our own values and actions. I think it's meant to speak to the community as a whole and at the same time be introspective and personal. It's what the world longs to see when it looks at the church and at individual believers.