“You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.” – Micah 7:19-20
There are certain Christians in the land who refer to John 3:16 so often, and so exclusively, that one wonders if they even know there’s a whole book attached to that verse. Likewise, there are certain Christians who rattle off Micah 6:8 so frequently that you wonder the same about them. Stick only with Micah 6:8, and you might think that our faith is primarily a scold, trying to hector you into behaving better so you can save the world yourself.
If you’re at all concerned about the current state of our country, it’ll be worth your while to read a little further into Micah, though. You see, Micah 6:8 is (arguably) about personal morality, but most of the book is addressed to Israel as a nation. Micah’s basic message might be summed up, “Everything sucks in our country right now, and we totally brought it on ourselves.” If you agree with the first half of Micah’s premise, the second half is pretty hard to swallow. Keep reading, though, and you get to the good stuff: we may have brought this mess on ourselves, but God’s not going to leave us flailing around in it.
It is God’s plan, Micah says, to tread on our white supremacy and hurl our corporate greed into the sea. God will grind our classism into the dust and drown our male dominance, will take our national aggressions and plow them into the dirt, and grab our transphobia and hold its head under the water. God may require of us that we do justice and love kindness, etc., but God requires of Godself that she be faithful to the oath pledged long ago: that one way or another, God will keep our sins from overwhelming us.
Oh God, as ever, be faithful. Amen.
Small Group Discussion
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Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.