Summary: For the entire past century and longer, the Christian view of spirituality has been on trial in this country. Before Christ was born Micah saw that his nation and every individual must find their real life, their spiritual life through trusting the Lord.
CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY ON TRIAL___ TRINITY 14 Aug 2016 Micah 6__1-8
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Epistle Galatians v. 16.
I SAY then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gospel St. Luke xvii. 11.
AND it came to pass, as Jesus went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
A THEME FOUND THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES IS THAT GOD IS THE SUPRME JUDGE OF THE EARTH.
The prophetic teacher, Micah, recounted for us a vision in which he saw God as pleading a case against Israel – God is both prosecutor and Judge in this vision.
Immediately, the scene changes – and it is no longer the nation that must answer – but the individual – Micah. He asks, "What must I bring – what can I offer God to avert his wrath?"
Old Testament Lesson Micah 6
The LORD’s Case Against Israel
1 Listen to what the LORD says:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 “Hear, you mountains, the LORD’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the LORD has a case aLgainst his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”
HOW SHALL WE RESPOND?
6 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?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
In the reading from Galatians 5:16 we hear Paul say “Walk in the Spirit.”
The imagination of some Christians run wild when they think about that saying, “Walk in the Spirit.” They imagine that being spiritual means one must be in communication with a world we cannot see, and hear words that others cannot hear being spoken by beings from another dimension. Now I do believe that God does give us insight into his will when we pray. I do believe that the Spirit assists us in solving problems of all sorts – I do believe that God is behind our best “aha” moments when we suddenly see a better way of building things, or arranging our lives.