Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 11, 2007
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 11, 2007
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Requirements of true religion
"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?"
I often feel I fall far short of God's requirements.
Micah shows us how our hearts should respond to God.
We are taught what is good and required from Torah
(Old Testament law). Rather than be rigidly
legalistic and dogmatic in matters of organized
religion and social concerns, we are to live Torah
from our hearts.
Jesus certainly made this clear to the religious
leaders of his day who erred on the side of legalism,
not compassion. "Woe to you, teachers of the law
. . . you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your
spices mint, dill, and cumin. But you have
neglected the more important matters of the law:
justice, mercy, and faithfulness . . ." (Matthew
God requires we do justice as our ethical response
to community living. Our actions have social
consequences. We are to love "chesed," which is
the beautiful Hebrew word that translates as
"mercy." We are to freely and willingly show
kindness and mercy to others. All this is humanly
impossible without spiritual humility. Mercy can
change the world.
James, believed to have been one of Jesus' brothers,
wrote a New Testament passage found in the epistle
of James that scholars think of as linked to the
words of Micah. In his letter, James emphasizes
a vital spirituality that is characterized by good
deeds and faith. He summarizes his brother's
teachings with the statement, "[F]aith by itself,
if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James
2:17 NIV). If the Hebrew Testament prophets are
difficult to read and understand, consider reading
the five short chapters in James. James learned
true religion from his big brother, Jesus Christ.
James gives us an example of what true religion
should be by emphasizing the importance of both
words and actions.
I often hear people say of others, "Oh, s/he is
very religious." What does that mean? Do they
mean those individuals act justly, freely show
mercy to others, and humbly walk with their
James writes a great deal about religion.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure
and faultless is this: to look after orphans
and widows in their distress and to keep oneself
from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27 NIV).
God, help me be just, kind, merciful, and humble
in word and deed. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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