Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Week of: February 2, 2020
Scripture: Micah 6:1-8
[The One who is Holy] has told you, human one, what is good and what is required from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8, CEB [adapted])
The late United Methodist Bishop Rueben Job brought Micah 6:8 alive to many readers when he offered Three Simple Rules *, a small volume published in 2007 — an adaptation and expose of John Wesley's writings on "human character" and "holiness of life."
Bishop Job's paraphrase of Wesley and the prophet Micah reads: "do no harm, do good, stay in love with God." It is true — these are three simple-sounding directives, but more challenging to live out than to hear.
Nationally and globally we live in an age of increasingly harmful words and actions, politicized verbal rancor, individual rancor turning into violent acts against humanity, and a global culture less and less grounded in the respective core values of the Abrahamic faith traditions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism.
Secular culture challenges worship designers in all areas of artistic expression to guide their worshipping communities toward a recognition of what constitutes "good" and "just," mercy and loving kindness, and humbleness. It requires prayerful, pastoral consideration of worship texts and music, monologues and dialogues, visualization, and drama (in combination) which can touch and awaken desensitized hearts and minds.
God of justice, mercy, and humbleness, grant us increased awareness and wisdom through your Holy Spirit, so that we come to know and live out holiness of heart and life. Amen.
Deacon, The United Methodist Church
* Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living, Bishop Rueben Job, © 2007, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN.
Photo: Dancers interpret "A Litany of the Undoing of Creation" by John Bell at Music & Worship Arts Week 2019. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)