Summary: God cares deeply about injustice toward people and is concerned that his people do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with him.
Title: What Can We Bring to the Lord?
Text: Micah 6:1-8
Thesis: God cares deeply about injustice toward people and is concerned that his people do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with him. (Micah 6:8 is a call to action… compassion, mercy, justice and humility.
A church generally falls primarily into one of four categories. A church is either:
• A Healthy Missional Church
• A Stable Church
• A Critical Moment Church
• An At Risk Church
The objective of the At Risk Church is not to become a Critical Moment Church. The objective of the Critical Moment Church is not to become a Stable Church. And the objective of the Stable Church is not to remain a Stable Church. The objective is to always be moving toward Congregational Vitality, i.e., becoming a Healthy Missional Church… a church that is pursuing Christ and Christ’s priorities in the world.
In order to understand what being a Healthy Missional Church looks like, we are unpacking a series called: The Marks of a Healthy Missional Church. Researchers have found that there are at least ten marks, characteristics, traits, qualities, etc., that are consistently found in Healthy Missional Churches.
Series: The Marks of a Healthy (Pursuing Christ) Missional Church (Pursuing Christ’s Priorities in the World)
• Compelling Christian Community
• The Centrality of the Word of God
• Life Transforming Walk with Jesus
• Global Perspective and Intentional Evangelism
Today we will unpack a fifth Mark of a Healthy Missional Church. A Healthy Missional Church is:
• Transforming Communities through Active Compassion, Mercy and Justice Ministries
And today we look at a fifth mark… that being Healthy Missional Churches are Transforming Communities through Active Compassion, Mercy and Justice Ministries. So if we were to do a self evaluation as a Church and as people are we Actively Involved in Ministries of Compassion, Mercy and Justice?
One of life’s most challenging lessons is the simple fact that life is not fair. I know life isn’t fair, but I sometimes wonder why it can’t occasionally be unfair in my favor.
Life may not be fair and we have to learn to live with that unfairness but in fact, life should be fair. We do not all emerge from a superior gene pool. We do not all receive equal opportunities. Discrimination and bias of every form happens. Disease happens. Poverty happens. Accidents happen. War happens. Plants close and people get laid off. Two people work equally hard but one makes a Banker’s CEO salary and oversees the loss of 6 billion dollars and keeps his job and the other, a minimum wage earner get fired for being late to work because he missed his bus. One person is born in Bloomfield Township, Michigan and the other is born in the heart of Detroit, Michigan. Our daughters are so precious to us that we would die before hurting them but in Niger, Africa, of 10 girls between the ages of 11 and 15 in a rural village – 7 are married and 2 are engaged to be married because their fathers had to cut overhead… one less mouth to feed and the dowry money supports the remaining family. What is fair about that? In California three men exercise their right to free speech to produce a ridiculous and inflammatory film that provokes the ire of Islamists in Lybia that results in the deaths of 4 innocent American Embassy workers. Life isn’t fair! But it should be.
I would guess that there has been a time or perhaps many times when you wanted justice or needed mercy… a time when you looked at the world and the ways things are and you knew, down deep, this is a broken world. Down deep you knew as we all know, things are not the way they should be. Life isn’t fair but that does not mean it shouldn’t be. Nor does it mean that it cannot be a more fair and just and merciful world.
We know God cares about fairness and justice because that is the ultimate realization of Christ’s Kingdom Rule. In Isaiah 9… the passage we celebrate at the onset of the Season of Advent is the prophetic announcement of the significance of the coming of Christ.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” Isaiah 9:6-7
Following his wilderness temptation Jesus emerged from the wilderness and made his way to his hometown where he “unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and the time of the Lord’s favor has come.’” The text says that he rolled up the scroll and as every eye in the synagogue was upon him, he sat down and began to speak. And this is what he said, “This Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Luke 4:18-21