Prayer for Christian Unity Day 3
Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly
Mic 6: 6 – 8 And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Mk 10: 17-31 Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
We – not me. The prophet warns the people what faithfulness to God’s covenant means: “…and
what does the Lord require of you? To do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with
your God?” In Biblical Hebrew justice and kindness (mercy) are not different or opposite from
each other. They are in fact bonded together in a single word, mishpat. God has shown us what is good, asking us to do justice by loving kindness and walking humbly with God. Walking humbly with God means walking alongside others and therefore it is not just about the individual: my walk, my love.
The love that God invites us into is always a love which gathers us into communion: we – not me. This insight makes all the difference in how we “do justice”. As Christians we act justly to manifest something of God’s kingdom in the world, and therefore to invite others into this place of God’s loving kindness. Within God’s kingdom we are all loved equally as God’s children, and as God’s Church we are called to love one another as brothers and sisters and to invite others into that love.
To do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God, calls Christians to act together
in bearing a united witness to God’s kingdom within our communities: we – not me.
“Walking humbly” was challenging for the rich young man who asked Jesus what he must do to
inherit eternal life. He had obeyed all the commandments from his youth, but he could not take
the further step to join Jesus’ disciples because of his wealth; he was beholden to his possessions. How difficult it is for Christians to let go of that which we perceive as riches, but which keep us from the greater wealth on joining Jesus’s disciples in Christian unity.
How can our churches better respond to the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors? How can we honor every voice in our communities?
Gracious and loving God,
Expand our vision that we might see the mission we share with all of our Christian brothers and
sisters, to show forth the justice and loving kindness of your kingdom.
Help us to welcome our neighbors as your Son welcomed us.
Help us to be more generous as we witness to the grace that you freely give us.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
I think these daily devotions are even more relevant and powerful in the knowledge that the theme of "Do good; seek justice" from Isaiah 1:17 was selected - and also the devotions prepared - by the Minnesota Council of Churches. This group began meeting in December of 2020 which was in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and the anguish that resulted. Ultimately these materials were jointly adopted and published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches. Here is the web address of the full resources which contain the background and context from which they originated if you would like to read more - may have to cut and paste the following web address to your browser window.