“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?”Micah 6:8
We believe that all human beings are created in the image of God (Imago Dei). This gives each person infinite value in God’s eyes and equal access to his unmerited love. God calls us to love our neighbors in the same way, as His image-bearers. Insomuch as we have failed to actively love those who differ from us in race, gender, national origin, religion, level of education, or socio-economic status, we have failed to love God. It is also true that at certain times in history such as now God awakens the hearts of His people to wrestle with specific sins or needs for healing.
What is the Micah 6:8 commitment?
It is a promise to intentionally and prayerfully integrate the work of justice (restoring right relationships) and mercy (unmerited forgiveness and active love) into my Christian witness as part of a humble walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
Why make this commitment if I am already a Christian?
The Holy Spirit is constantly at work in us, as followers of Jesus, to show us when we need to make a radical change in our life or repent from a sin we were previously unaware of. These are moments of “conversion” in which we turn to a new way of thinking and living that reflects God’s righteousness (Psalm 23:3). If you feel that you are ready to integrate this new awareness of justice and mercy into your faith witness, then this commitment is for you. To be clear, however, as Micah says, this is not an optional element in our Christian witness but one that the Lord requires of us because the practice of justice and mercy is an integral part of what it means to follow Jesus (Luke 4:18-19). The commitment is a way to state our intention to be obedient in following Jesus.
Who is this commitment for?
It is for individuals and for our community. Everyone who wishes to renew their commitment to loving Jesus and their brothers and sisters in the church in this way does so in their own heart. However, we can also take this commitment together, as a church family, to repair wrongs and seek healing for all those who have suffered from the effects of racism.
How can I keep this commitment? What should I do?
We recognize that it takes courage to actively pursue this commitment. Yet, we believe God calls us to be faithful in all of these areas:
(1) In our life of discipleship: study, learn, pray about what God thinks about issues of justice; practice lament for sins committed either individually or collectively.
(2) In our understanding of history: learn about events in this country and in our own neighborhoods that have caused and continue to cause suffering to our Black brothers and sisters
(3) In our community engagement: find out about injustice around us and seek ways to do the work of justice, mercy, and peace in our neighborhoods, both as individuals and with others in our community.
If you feel God calling you to step out in active love but don’t know where to begin, please reach out to other brothers and sisters at St. John’s or to the Racial Justice Fellowship (Jennifer Brown, Shancia Jarrett, Michele Sigg) for support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out the many resources and suggestions on the STJ blog (reconciliation or lament reflections; resources, RJ action).