A message on Micah 6:6-8 for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by Richard Keith on Thursday 25 May 2023
I’d like to begin this short reflection on Micah chapter 6 by saying that our prayers for Christian unity will come to nothing until there is real, true, genuine Christianity in our churches. And what is that? What does genuine Christianity look like? I think it looks a lot like the life that pleases God revealed in Micah chapter 6.
In these verse, the prophet asks good questions. “With what shall I come before the Lord?” “What does the Lord require of me?” And he answers them by telling us that God is not impressed by a show of righteousness. He does not want our money and he is not pleased with extravagant sacrifices if we refuse to give him our heart.
Instead, the Lord has shown us what is good. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.
It sounds simple, but I think a lot of Christians, myself included, struggle to score more than one or two out of these three God-pleasing qualities. Some Christians stand firm on good old fashioned traditional moral values, but are harsh and judgmental. They blame the poor for being poor while they enjoy the good life that their money buys. Other Christians are full of charitable works and work like slaves for the less fortunate in their community. But they have little time for God and are angry with those who won’t join them in their holy crusade. Other Christians demand that we be kind and accepting by getting rid of all that is good and right and true. They talk about love but can’t accept the truth that speaks in love.
But how can we score more than one or two out of three? How can we act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God.
Well, it’s no coincidence that that is exactly the life that our Lord Jesus lived. He healed the sick. He ate and drank with the sinners and tax collectors. He taught us to forgive our brother and to love our enemy so that we may be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. He stopped the Pharisees from stoning the woman caught in adultery and he told her to leave her life of sin. And he surrendered his spirit into his Father’s care to purchase our lives from all the unworthy and destructive attitudes and behaviours that we have indulged in. He rose to life to show that the life of sin will not have the last say about what it means to be truly human.
This is the example that he calls us to follow. And we can follow it only by the power of the Holy Spirit as his blessing takes fruit in our lives – the fruit of love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and faithfulness and gentleness and self control. They are not his fruits like you can choose just one or two of them, like shopping in the vegie section of the supermarket. They are his fruit, because they are all the result of the life of Jesus taking root in our lives.
So we will see Christian unity in our town, but not until we all start to show some real, true, genuine lasting Christianity, to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with the holy God who calls us to follow in the footsteps of his Son Jesus by the leading and power of his Holy Spirit.