In the sixth chapter of Micah, God is taking the people to court. Their behavior has been unwarranted and offensive, and God wants to make a plea against them. So God calls the mountains and the hills to be witnesses in the case against the Israelites. This passage reveals to us that God is upset and perhaps even angry, enough to make a formal complaint against God’s own children. But before we focus on the valid anger, it is important to remember that God is so upset because God takes the relationship with humanity seriously. During the time of this passage, that relationship is in jeopardy because the Israelites aren’t living as though the relationship matters as much to them.

We all know what it’s like to have a supposed friend who claims to be committed to the friendship but then never quite makes the effort to work on its weaknesses. Some of us currently are in relationships just like that. The “friend” or partner just does not care enough to react. But God is committed to having a strong and life-giving relationship with us and will let us know when we’ve hurt or offended God and will hold us accountable in our relationship. We may find it strange to think of hurting God, but love comes with vulnerability. Loving others gives them the power to hurt us. And God loves us deeply. While it may be mind-blowing to think of God’s choosing to be vulnerable with us, this passage reminds us that God has been choosing vulnerability since Creation, even before the Incarnation, which was the ultimate act of holy vulnerability.

Lord, convict me where I’ve grown complacent in my relationship with you. I am committed to you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 5:1-12

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Lectionary Week
January 27—February 2, 2020
Scripture Overview

We must beware counterfeit gospels. According to one current counterfeit gospel, we deserve God’s favor based on our deeds or intellect or status. The readings for this week remind us that this is false. Yes, the Israelites offer sacrifices, but they are first and foremost called to show mercy because they have received divine mercy. The psalmist asks who can stand in God’s holy dwelling and so provides a list of ways to live morally. Ultimately no one can stand before God on merit alone. Paul reminds the Corinthians that human wisdom is foolishness compared to the wisdom of God, and thus we should not puff ourselves up based on our intellect. Jesus teaches that those who may seem insignificant in the eyes of the world are great in the kingdom of heaven.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Micah 6:1-8. How have you let down God? What changes can you make to recommit to your relationship with God?
Read Psalm 15. Consider the notion that the requirements for dwelling with God are in how we treat our friends and neighbors. How does this change the ways you seek God?
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. When have you seen God’s work in the world in a way that is antithetical to human standards?
Read Matthew 5:1-12. How do you maintain a poverty of spirit in your relationship with God? How does this help you to serve God and others?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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