Welcome Back to a New School Year
Micah asks the question ‘With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? I think it’s a question we ask ourselves too because we often don’t feel worthy to come before the Lord. We think we aren’t good enough to actually be loved by God. But in the reading we heard from Micah it says: He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you is to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Act Justly, Love Mercy
and Walk Humbly with your God.
This years' focus is on acting justly.
But what does that mean really??
Well, everyone wants justice — equality, fairness, rightness… but life isn’t fair.
Hard workers lose their jobs;
Drunk drivers kill innocent people;
Powerful people manipulate the system;
Cheaters lurk everywhere.
So how do we act justly??
How do we seek justice?
These familiar words help to explain what acting justly means:
Justice is Impartial. As disciples of Jesus, acting justly means making fair decisions in our business and personal lives. We do not to show favoritism to beautiful, “important,” or rich people. We treat everyone the same whether they are well dressed or homeless. God stamped His image on every human being and we acknowledge that truth when I treat all people with dignity.
Justice is Accurate. Truthful living means we are honest, we don’t lie about others, we refuse to exaggerate to make ourselves look better than our actions prove we really are.
Justice is Lawful. God commands us to obey both the rules of the land and of the road, and to respect everyone in authority, regardless of whether or not I agree with them politically.
Justice is Righteous. Scripture provides our moral standard; it defines right and wrong. The words and actions of a person of integrity align with God’s truth. He or she does what is right even when no one is watching — even when it takes more time or costs more money.
Acting justly requires action, not mere talk. Speaking about injustice — abuse, human trafficking, displaced people, bullying — may make us appear caring, but words alone just won’t do it. Acting justly is never separated from acts of love and mercy.
And the idea that justice is for just us is not acceptable! It is for everyone. If we have an expectation that we should be treated justly everyday then we must expect everyone to be treated with fairness. And we have to be part of that. We must treat others fairly, with justice.
So let’s begin this year well and act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.