“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 with your God” (Micah 6:8)
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47)
The world in which the prophet Micah spoke and wrote so many years ago has much in common with the world today.
Even though Israel was called to be God’s beacon of light to the world, an example of His justice, mercy, and love, she was anything but. Sin had corrupted the people of God and degraded them into becoming akin to the societies around them, selfish, debased, wicked, and violent.
Amid this backdrop, the prophet called the people of God back to a holistic and faith-filled approach to living, one that prioritized the things of God: justice, mercy, and humility, all of which could be viewed as the byproduct of a living relationship with the Almighty.
And yet, in classic prophetic form, Micah not only called the people back to God, but also foreshadowed a day in which God would create a community of people – a nation, if you will – of individuals who would collectively fulfill all that God required of His covenant people.
Following the day of Pentecost, we catch a glimpse of the Spirit’s work in the nascent church, and the view is stunning. The people of God are together, living and communing as a single entity. Their focus is squarely on the Lord, on the Spirit’s work, on prayer, the ministry of the Word, and life together.
What’s more, their attentiveness to the Spirit’s work in and among them has allowed for their view toward the outside world to be transformed. God’s people are no longer blending in but standing out through radical generosity and concern for others.
Best of all, their number grew daily as people saw and heard the Gospel being spoken and lived in real time.
The Spirit’s work in the lives of God’s people was on full display to the world, thus the truth of their message could not be denied or resisted.
The prophet Micah foresaw a day when God Himself would bring together a people set apart by the Spirit and “on-display” to a world in desperate need of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and restoration power.
The Church is that people, and all who belong to Jesus have a special role to play in God’s ongoing witness to the world. What’s yours?
Have you thought recently about the role God would have you play in His ongoing witness to the world? Regardless of whether you’re a new Christian or you’ve been around awhile, regardless of what your talents are or if you feel called to ministry, the Spirit has a special role for you to play in God’s witness to the world. Take time this week to pray about how that might look different today than it has in the past.