By Jesse McClain, student at California Lutheran University
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?
There are hundreds of commandments in the Bible, everything from not mixing different fabrics to not eating fat. This commandment we read from the book of Micah is the center of our call to strive for justice in our world. This commandment is a commandment of love.
My mom passed away this summer very unexpectedly. Through the shock and mourning there was something I kept feeling when talking with family members, friends, co-workers and all the people my mom had interacted with in her life: love. My mom worked at a homeless shelter in our town. What made her an asset to the shelter was her endless love and kindness to everyone who walked through the door. She knew she had the gift to love and gave it freely and used it to change lives.
One of my most prized attributes passed down to me from my mom was a burning passion for helping people. I have found that a lot can be done by someone with this burning passion to make a change. Working for justice in our world — through direct service and through public policy advocacy based on this service — can be tiresome and incredibly discouraging. It may seem as if all of our time and effort only results in a very small dent, sometimes not even noticeable by the human eye.
That is why we are told to walk humbly. God has not commanded us to change the world on our own, but has commanded all Christians to change the world together — and our God goes with us. That small dent we make may not be detectable by the human eye, but a bunch of small dents made by our brothers and sisters in Christ who share our passions for serving our vulnerable neighbors can definitely be seen and felt in our world.
So, as the passage in Micah says: love. Love endlessly and passionately. Love the people who need it the most. Love in company of others. And most importantly, love through and with God.