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Friday, December 16, 2011


As we approach the end of the year, it is easy to spend the bulk of our energy on Christmas shopping, finals for school, shuttles from one holiday party to the next, and tasks that have to be completed by year-end.

I had a good wake-up call this morning as to what really matters. In the midst of juggling bills, to-do's,  tests, and parties full of food that is terrible for you, take one minute to quietly, carefully read this passage from Micah 6:

 1 Listen to what the LORD says:
   “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; 
   let the hills hear what you have to say.

 2 “Hear, you mountains, the LORD’s accusation; 
   listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. 
For the LORD has a case against his people; 
   he is lodging a charge against Israel.

 3 “My people, what have I done to you? 
   How have I burdened you? Answer me. 
4 I brought you up out of Egypt 
   and redeemed you from the land of slavery. 
I sent Moses to lead you, 
   also Aaron and Miriam. 
5 My people, remember 
   what Balak king of Moab plotted 
   and what Balaam son of Beor answered. 
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, 
   that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”

 6 With what shall I come before the LORD 
   and bow down before the exalted God? 
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 thousand rivers of olive oil? 
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, 
   the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. 
   And what does the LORD require of you? 
To act justly and to love mercy 
   and to walk humbly with your God.

John Wesley's comments on this passage bring it home for me... I separate his statements to let their impact linger:
“God has already told you in his word with what you ought to come before him: 
  • To render to every one their due; superiors, equals, inferiors, to be equal to all and oppress none in body, goods, or name. 
  • To be kind, merciful, and compassionate to all, not using severity towards any. 
  • Keep up a constant fellowship with God by humble, holy faith.” 
May I not allow the "tyranny of the urgent" to hold my attention and energy captive today and in the next week. Instead, may I fix my eyes on the eternal and truly important things.

Don't forget that Advent is about the spiritual discipline of waiting. Invite your soul to be expectant as you approach this 4th Sunday of the Advent season. What are you waiting for? Are you waiting patiently? Are you pursuing justice, mercy and humility in the meantime?

I finished my morning reading with this verse:

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, 
   I wait for God my Savior; 
   my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)

Happy Holidays :)

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