Micah 6:1-8 (NRSV)
Chapter 6Hear what the Lord says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Verse 2Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. Verse 3"O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! Verse 4For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Verse 5O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the Lord."
Verse 6"With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Verse 7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" Verse 8He 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?
As I am writing this we are in the season of Advent, awaiting Jesus' birth in the darkest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It is difficult to think beyond Christmas Eve — much less into Epiphany, when we mark the revelation of the light of Christ, and experience gradually lengthening days.
Micah brings God's words of judgment to the people: "The Lord God has a bone to pick with you!" How do we deal with such words? Even if we come to the sobering realization that we must change, what could we possibly do to make things right with God? How can we possibly get from our darkness into the light?
God answers plainly: We are simply called to treat others justly, treat them with kindness, and live our lives humbly with God.
God of light, be patient with us and help us find our way back to you. Help us show others the steadfast love that you show us. Amen.