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
I’ve been blessed to visit the Risen Lord Montessori School classroom once a week to share stories and songs about God’s love with the students. On Tuesday, the moment I walked into the room, one of the children exclaimed, “I love you, Pastor Wendy!” Another echoed the same words. Then from the circle, multiple voices rang out, “Me, too! Me, too!”
If that doesn’t make a person feel good, I don’t know what then. But these little ones and their kindness to me got me thinking about this verse from Micah.
The prophet Micah has been sharing oracle after oracle of God’s frustration at the unjust ways Israel was behaving. At the end of the day, God didn’t want or need the people offering sacrifices to appease God. God simply wanted them to love their neighbor as themselves by doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.
When they’ve been taught, little children innately know and embrace loving and taking care of others. They cannot wait to help. We adults get to model love for them and offer those lessons. If we’re lucky, they teach those lessons right back.
As a parent, I know I had moments when I did that well and times when I surely fell short. That’s because all of us, young and old, get distracted by doing what God made us to do. At our worst, we compare ourselves to others and become anxious. When we are emotionally or physically hurt, we feel like lashing out. When we get mixed messages, we get confused. When we get overwhelmed, we might stop caring.
When we’ve fallen short of doing the simple things God has called us to do, there is forgiveness. There is a chance to start a new day.
What are the feelings or experiences that keep you from doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God? Spend some time each day making a list of the ways you saw or got to do those things that God delights in our doing.