Texts: Micah 6:1-8, Matthew 5:1-12
Do you ever wonder what God wants from you? In a world where it’s hard enough figuring out what those around us want—those whose voices we can clearly hear, whose faces we can see, whose body language we can read—it can feel overwhelming to try and figure out what God—whose voice we can’t hear, whose eyes we can’t look into, who has no body language for us to read—wants. Who among us hasn’t faced the spiritual dilemma of trying to figure out what God wants from us or what God would have us do?
There is hardly a more famous prophetic quotation from the Hebrew Bible than Micah 6:8. Here at Pullen we have claimed it as our touchstone, practically refusing any other guiding mission statement. You can find it printed on most of our publications. We sing it in our worship services. We quote it in our prayers. Indeed, the words of the prophet have guided us, shaped us, and inspired us throughout our history. For a church committed to social justice—of befriending the poor and fighting injustice—we have looked no further than the prophets’ words to tell us what it is that God wants from us. Doing justice is what we are about. Loving kindness is our deep desire. And walking humbly with God is our greatest hope. We have not only taken seriously the question, “What does God want from us?” we have also tried our best to live out the answer that the prophet Micah gives. Micah 6:8 gives us a very specific answer to the question, “What does God want from us?” To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God is the answer. But I am wondering that if we read Micah 6:8 in the context of the Micah 6:1-8 if there is not a more basic or fundamental answer to this question of what God wants from us.