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Weekly Devotion

Thoughts to ponder in faith

“God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

Along with the Golden Rule this quote succinctly states how we as people of faith are to live. Simply, we are to love God, love others, love ourselves, love kindness, do justice, do to others as we would have done to us and walk humbly with God – always. None of thi

s seems unreasonable.

Yet, we have many indications that love of neighbor and self, justice for those whom God loves is in short supply. The world seems to be far more violent than loving and God’s people seem to be far more complacent to violence than justice seeking for peace.

The first word of Chapter 6 in Micah is “hear.” If we look back to the

book of Deuteronomy the Jewish shema, or Great Commandment begins: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4. Dr. Brueggemann describes this verse like this, “The shema (Deut. 6:4) is at t

he center of an Old Testament understanding of human personhood. It is important, however, to remember that shema’ in the first instance means “hear” before it means “obey”. Paul Ricoeur, in one of his early writings, observes that to listen is to concede that one is not self-made and autonomous. Listening – responding in obedience to another – is recognition that one is sourced and inherently connected to one who as the right to address.”*

Before we can “do” we must first “hear” what God is saying. We must first “listen.” Listening indicates our willingness to place ourselves at God’s feet. A humble act which requires us to be aware we are not autonomous individuals, we are not completely self-made, we are not the image we’ve created of ourselves. Our society values individual-ness, self-promotion and autonomy. Our faith teaches, we grow into our full humanness by first listening to God. We become who we are, as the Body of Christ, by understanding our inherent connection

to God as the One whom we primarily listen to.

Hear, listen, O mortals, to our God who continues to speak to us and implore us to, do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. The question arises, “who has our ear, to whom will we truly listen?

Faithfully Yours,

Rev. Wendy

*“The Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy” by Dr. Walter Brueggemann. Augsburg Fortress Press, 1997. P.460

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