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Wednesday Wondering - July 19, 2023

Wednesday Wondering - July 19, 2023


Scripture

Micah 6: 6 - 8

“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?

7

Will 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?”

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?


Reflection

I have been thinking a lot lately about life. Yes, I know that is quite the large subject. But I have been thinking about what is our purpose in life. In the reading from Micah the people are asking much the same kind of question. They are asking Micah what God requires them to do in order to live their lives as God desires. Although the people would expect that the response would have something about the offerings that they are bringing to God. Or maybe the response would be about keeping the purity laws and following all of the laws that have been set out. Micah, in his answer, brings up neither but rather speaks to living lives of humbleness, justice, and kindness. What I think is interesting is that Micah doesn’t even bring up the concept of being happy. Rather it is about how we ourselves carry ourselves in the world. What about us? How are we called to live our lives? The world tells us that the most important thing in our lives is to be happy, whatever that really means. The world tells us that to be happy we have to have certain things. We have to have a new, big, house to be happy. We need to have a new car to be happy. We need so many things in our lives to be happy. When we listen to these voices, we spend our lives trying to acquire those things that we think we need to be happy and in reality, it is all empty. Things cannot make us happy and so we stress and struggle to get those things that the world tells us we need, and we chase that elusive happiness. In reality our lives become solely focused on ourselves and our own happiness that we forget everything else and everybody else. We become personally focused, focused only our ourselves, and the world revolves around our own needs and wants. Is that really how we are called to live. Leo Roston, who was an essayist, scholar, and language expert, wrote, “The purpose of life, is not to be happy. The purpose of life is to matter, to have it make a difference that you lived at all.” To matter! If we understand that the purpose of life is not focused around our own happiness but rather it is externally focused on the world, so that we might make a difference in the world, we might make a difference in the lives of others. The purpose of our lives is live with true justice for all, to offer kindness to those around us, to the world, and to live in a humble manner, understanding that it is in seeing the needs of others gives our lives meaning. Our lives have meaning not because of what we own, but it is what we do. It is how we live our lives in the world that can truly make a difference and that give our lives deep meaning. Sometimes I believe that we get caught up in the magnitude of the issues facing the world and we think that we can’t make a difference. But as Micah reminds us that all God wants from us is to live lives that are humble, justice-filled, and filled with kindness. When we live this way, we make a difference and that truly matters. So let us all begin to live our lives making a difference and our lives might just change the world, and that matters. Amen.


Prayer

God, who calls us, open our ears, our minds, our hearts, to hear your call for us to come and be your people. Help us to see that the world tells us that in order to be happy we must ‘have’ things but you show us a different way. You show us a way that is based in your love and challenges us to look beyond ourselves to the world around us. Give us the courage to answer when you call and to see that true meaning does not come with the superficial happiness that the world says is important, but rather true meaning comes in making a difference in the lives of those around us. We ask all this in the name of the one who came bringing love and hope to a dark world, your son, Jesus. Amen.

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