Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

God 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? (Micah 6:8)

Photo: © iStock.com / wildpixel (Image ID# 1145766838)This well-loved verse comes to us in the lectionary this month. These are some of the Protestant world’s most oft-quoted words from Hebrew scripture; words we sing every week as part of our offering ritual:

Help me do the justice to be done today.
Help me love kindness in all I do and say.
Help me walk humbly with you, O God, I pray,
Every step of the way, every step of the way.

With these words we remind ourselves of who we wish to be as a community and the work that we feel ourselves called to do. And we throw ourselves into that work with such generosity and such deep kindness! Our care, financial support and donations, from Clackamas Service Center right around the corner, to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation halfway across the country, to Cetana Educational Foundation halfway across the world -- and many other places in between. We donate our time and energy to feed folks at Hoyt Street each month, and we walk to raise money for senior housing with Northwest Pilot Project every spring. We try to stay awake and aware, always learning about the real injustices and crises in our world so we can respond – to racial injustice, the mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers, the needs of immigrants, the reality of the climate crisis…

That is just a small sample of the work we do together … and it’s a lot. And when, despite all our effort, the world feels overwhelming, we have the gift of each other to bear us up.

As we continue to practice doing justice and loving kindness, both as individuals and as a congregation, I invite us all to focus on that third clause: “walk humbly with God.” Because even WITH the gift of each other, the world and all its challenges will surely overwhelm us if we forget the invitation to be rooted and grounded in God’s love as we go about working for God’s justice. This lent we’ll explore practices - some ancient, some modern - that can help us stay connected with God so we can continue to walk humbly and joyfully and full of hope. We’ll begin on Wednesday, February 26, with a service of song, prayer, and the imposition of ashes (7pm, in the sanctuary). During March, we’ll gather in the Circle Room on Thursday evenings. From 6 – 6:30 we’ll enjoy a light supper and from 6:30 – 7:10 Janice Roggenkamp and I will lead, as together we explore a different spiritual practice each week – practices that will help us listen for the voice of the Divine, rest in the Great Love, and gather strength for every step of the way.