How often have we heard these famous words of the prophet in Micah 6:8: “He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” This text is at the center of our Covenant Bible Study for today and our course developers asked us to structure a short but memorable prayer from this text that we can pray throughout our week. Since I am not very good at rote memory I took the advice to make it as simple as possible: “May justice, love and humility be at the center of my being. Amen.”
Sounds simple enough until I reflect back on my answer to one of the questions from this chapter on the minor prophets. “Do you think we live in a just society, like the world required by the Old Testament prophets? Well no…not even close. While I have no doubt that in many ways our contemporary society is more “just” in the sense of covenant living than during the times of the OT we are hardly a just society living in divine covenant. Injustice remains ugly and well hidden within complex political, economic and legal systems. Even our religious systems fail to live up to divine covenant. Our social systems fail to empower those requiring support, our economic systems favor the wealthy as does our legal system. Our public discourse is more about creating false claims about those we disagree with than just solutions. This injustice will remain as long as the crowd continues to focus on getting our own rather than covenant living.
So what does my prayer look like? What do I perceive doing differently today than I did yesterday? I know that God knows my heart and also my weaknesses. While I have stood up to bullies in the past I have also stood by in silence, afraid to speak up or intervene for fear that the bully would turn on me. Donald Trump is a bully. He uses his wealth and wit to trash talk those who disagree with him. He uses his power to employ other bullies skilled in putting a smiley face on hateful language. Standing up to bullies begins with speaking out and running the risk that those who support candidates simply because they are their favored party’s representative will rise against me in similar fashion to the candidate they support.
My issue is not a party issue. My issue is an issue of justice and divine covenant. May justice, love and humility be at the center of my being. Amen.