By Karin deJonge-Kannan, council member
As I write this, the inauguration of the new president is only a few days away. Like many in our country and in our congregation, I worry about what these next four years will bring. I have some deep concerns (which spike to the level of fear at times), but I prefer to live in hope. I want to choose love, peace, and hope in my own attitudes and actions, and I want to promote those values in our society. I want to live in a society where every person is treated with dignity and respect, where everyone is included and valued, where all are invited to the feast.
My favorite Bible verse has been for many years Micah 6:8:
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?
That’s my assignment, right there, not just for the new year or these next four years, but for every day of my life: do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. Instead of becoming overwhelmed at the thought of all there is to do, I can get busy with these three things:
This phrase refers to a goal we pursue together. Building a just society is not something we can accomplish alone, by ourselves, but at the same time it does take commitment and action from each individual. Doing justice means building a society where fair and just laws are in place and where the rules apply to all persons equally. I have also come to understand that justice extends beyond laws, beyond our borders, and beyond our species. I have been humbled to find out how little I knew about social justice, economic justice, environmental justice. I have been readings books on these topics and would love an opportunity to discuss them with others in our congregation.
Some translations use the word ‘mercy’ or ‘grace’ here instead of ‘kindness’. Regardless, this expression refers to something we can do all by ourselves, every day, in every encounter. Choosing to act with kindness does not depend on our circumstances, our political affiliation, our age, or the size of our bank account. Kindness is imperative (something the Lord requires of us!) whether we feel like it or not, whether the other person evokes it in us or not, whether we are dealing with a family member, friend, co-worker, stranger, a person at the store, someone in the other car… Whereas doing justice sometimes seems like such a daunting task as it takes the involvement of many people and the dedication of much time and effort, the pursuit of kindness is something we can handle, each of us individually, at all times.
walk humbly with your God
This verse requires that we know God, read God’s word, seek God’s guidance for our actions. It intrigues me that the verse states very clearly your God, not God in general. It is my assignment to figure out God as I understand God, and to be humble about my understanding of who God is to me. In humility, I can ask you to share your perspective, and together, all of us in humility, we can seek to walk humbly with God.
So how’s this for a New Year’s resolution for 2017?
This year, I will do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with my God.
This blog is run by the council members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Logan, UT. For more information, check out our church's website at princeopeace.org.