FOLLOWING GOD IN AN UNSTABLE WORLD: SERMON #3 – SERMON RESOURCES
ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP
The main theme of this week’s sermon was taken from Micah 6:8: “to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God”, with an emphasis on acting justly. (Next week: loving mercy and walking humbly.)
This can seem to be a very broad requirement. One can act justly (or not) with those closest to you (a spouse, a parent, a child, a best friend) or with those on the other side of the planet (through political or economical actions which you support or resist). Jesus seems to focus his saving mission on people in several very challenging situations when he declared that Isaiah spoke of him (Jesus) when he said:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
This week, our prayer exercise will focus on these two verses. We will begin with Jesus’ statement from Luke 4.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Read it once slowly. Imagine Jesus standing in Nazareth in Galilee (northern Israel) proclaiming God’s imminent saving acts. Imagine that you are one of those whom Jesus promises to deliver. You are blind, or in prison because you can’t repay a debt, or you are oppressed by the rulers of your land. How do you feel? Are you happy, elated, hopeful, skeptical, ….? Read the passage one more time. This time let your mind consider modern day people who might be in similar positions. How do you feel about these people? Can you sense how might feel about them? If you are able to connect with any of these people, sit with your thoughts and concerns for them in God’s presence. Look for a sense of God’s heart in this matter, for these people.
Moving to the passage from Micah chapter 6, read verses 6-8 through slowly. While you are doing this, imagine that God is present. Also imagine that those with whom you have contact are present, as well. Sit with the passage for a few minutes in God’s presence.
“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? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown all you people 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. (Micah 6:6-8)
Read the passage slowly one more time, pausing on words or phrases which strike you personally in some way. If any situations or activities come to mind as you are reading, bring these to God in your prayer. Imagine you and God looking at these situations or activities together. Try to be aware of God saying anything to you about them, or any particular feelings about these situations which He might have.
Jot down any thoughts, feelings or senses which seem significant to you.
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.