Letter from Pastor Dave Bateman
Harmony Note April 17, 2021
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God!
I struggle with the effects of daily living and the news of yet another life lost, from the pandemic, from the gang violence, from drivers that are distracted by cell phones and texts, from police reaction. The protests and the escalation that too often results in more violence and disorder. There are no easy answers to the pandemic of Assurance of Pardon
O God, hear our prayers of repentance and forgiveness,
and awaken us from doubt, disbelief, and distress
by transforming us into your resurrection joy!
God, we desire for your loving spirit
to be among us, to comfort us in our fears,
and to renew our faith. Amen. violence, yet the prophet Micah spells out our responsibility – “To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly”.
I must admit to my own ambivalence, perhaps judgementalism that draws conclusions before facts are completely known. The Monday morning quarterback never makes a bad call with the advantage of hindsight. However, on the field and in life, calls are made in real time and the plays become part of history, for better or worse.
I don’t’ think it’s a matter of more laws or rules, maybe not even the enforcement of the ones we have that will make a difference. It is a heart condition! We (society) have become divided, suspicious, angry, impatient, pommeled by the bombardment of negative news that reminds us not to trust each other and hold tight to our attitudes and possessions lest they be stolen or diminished.
I cannot change the color of my skin but I can (maybe) look at my attitudes and decide if I’m as holy as I think I am. I can’t imagine having “the talk” that takes place in many households about how to survive being pulled over by police, or will the gangs get my son before he can escape the neighborhood. As I talk to some of my friends of color, they relay a lived experience that I cannot imagine.
These are tumultuous times! There are no easy answers, yet maybe the prophet Micah has some good advice for our times as well as the time in which those words were spoken. What would it look like to actually live into those words? To do justice (for everyone), to love mercy (not retribution), and walk humbly with God (in service and sacrifice). What difference could we make if we actually lived that motto or advice in our time and place.
I pray that each of us can examine our own hearts and decide to walk humbly with God, doing justice and loving mercy. Food for thought.
Blessings and Peace and Love,
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