“Walking with God”                                                                             February 2, 2014

Micah 6:1-8                                                                                           Stephens City UMC

 

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

I.                   When I first read our scripture lesson for this morning it was hard to get past the word “require.”

A.    As a number of commentators on this passage have said “Require” is a strong word.

1.     Note that the Lord does not “advise” us to do these things.

2.     Rather, the Lord requires these things of us.

3.     “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.”

II.                 If you are like me I been paying greater attention to how I have been walking this winter because there has been some snow and ice.

A.    Walking comes naturally to most of us.

1.     Basically we just put one foot in front of the other and move forward.

B.     But when there’s been ice and snow we all tend to concentrate on how we’re moving our feet.

1.     During the winter whenever I come into the office I take a look at the status of the parking lots and the sidewalks.

2.     Later when I get home I will sometimes walk through the yard to avoid the cement sidewalk and then will take the porch steps one at a time.

3.     The next day it’s interesting to walk out and see my footprints from where I stepped the day before.

4.     Often I’ll step in those same footprints only this time I’m heading in the opposite direction.

C.     What I’m describing has something in common with the guidance offered us by the prophet Micah.

1.     He says that we are to walk humbly with God.

2.     I agree but while walking with God can be fun and easy it can also be difficult and treacherous.

3.     Some situations are tough and require great commitment to doing the right thing because the easy way out is so tempting.

4.     Other times walking with God can be frightening because traveling that path leads to change and as Melissa Bane Sevier says in her commentary on this passage, change isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. (http://melissabanesevier.wordpress.com)

5.     And we all know that it can be literally dangerous to pursue justice, let alone love kindness.

6.     Whenever you challenge the status quo, expect push back and maybe even to be ostracized.

D.    Sevier to illustrate her commentary on this passage tells the story of a friend with a 14 month old baby who had not yet begun to walk.

1.     This friend was very concerned so she took the boy to a pediatrician who gave him a thorough exam.

2.     Everything seemed to be fine.

3.     The tests showed nothing to be wrong, but the doctor knew the family and was aware that the 14 month old had two teenage sisters so he asked, “How much do the girls carry him around?”

4.     “Almost constantly,” said the mother.

5.     The doctor said, “Tell them not to carry him for a week.”

6.     Within three days he had begun to walk.

III.              One of the things the Lord requires of you is to walk.

A.    Walking takes practice.

1.     The more you practice praying, the more you practice being kind, the more you practice justice-making, the more natural all of those things will become.

2.     Sure, sometimes you’ll make the wrong step or slip or even fall down, but continue to walk with the Lord anyway.

3.     Today you can practice by walking to the Lord’s Table forever you come to the Lord’s Table He walks with you and extends kindness and shares His justice with you and with all who come.

4.     The more you walk, the more at ease you will become, even on slippery days. (http://melissabanesevier.wordpress.com)