By Larry Miller, MHS Board member & MHS Consulting Board Chair
We are familiar with the 3 great passages in the scripture. They are:
- The great commission – Matt 28; 19 “ Go and make disciples”
- The great commandment – Matt 22:37 “ Love the Lord your God”
- The great requirement – Micah 6:8
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
The prophet Micah asks the most crucial question in the midst of injustice and violence in 8th-century B.C.E. Judean society: “What does God expect of you?”
This is the key question for the people of Israel, who must come before God when the relationship with their God has been broken. This is also a question that we must ask ourselves today as we are invited to consider a life of Justice and Peace. The answer is clear: do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). As Micah invites his people, so the people of good will everywhere are also inviting others to answer Micah’s question by living a life of peace and reconciliation with God and with our neighbor.
The text presents Micah’s observation of violence and injustice in Judean society. Micah paints a picture of political oppression and economic exploitation by the powerful against the weak and oppressed (6:12), and how they despise justice and distort the right (3:1-3). The structure of the passage, as a result, demonstrates that Micah invites the people of Israel to restore and reconcile the broken relationship with God and with the neighbor.
What does God expect of us?. The two commands in verse 8, doing justice and loving kindness, stand at the center of Israel’s faith-talk. The first command concerns the love of neighbor. The second command concerns the love of God. So Micah’s first two commandments summarize the whole message of the Old Testament and reverberate in the Great Commandment of Jesus in the New Testament (Mark 12:28-31; Matt. 22:37-40).
The third command is to walk humbly. To walk humbly is the opposite of walking proudly or walking self-righteously, including arrogance, self-sufficiency, autonomy, and independence. Walter Bruggemann suggests that the term “walking humbly” is to pay attention to others. In this way, the command to walk humbly is the journey of self-giving, self-sacrificing, and self-emptying. If we walk humbly, then we acknowledge others who will be our companions along the way. If we walk the path humbly acknowledging others, who will be our companion along the way? Micah answers: “With your God.” This companion is not just God’s closeness to us, but it carries along the way God’s saving activities so that one can walk with the God who saves, reconciles, heals, and transforms.
So how does this requirement to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God impact our work at MHS? Our mission is to inspire and strengthen health and human service ministries to fulfill their mission, all anchored in Anabaptist faith values. Our listed values are:
- Justice and dignity for the vulnerable
- Reconciliation, hospitality and service
- Stewardship of God’s gifts
- Ethical business practices
- Care of the spirit
MHS pledges to continually review what God is requiring of us as we acknowledge you, our members, who accompany us on our way.