I thought I would share a little bit more about me and my background. Before going into Ordained Ministry I was a High School Science teacher. I still have a great love for teaching and learning and believe that learning should be lifelong as we never know it all and more understanding can enrich us and our relationship with others.
I started my first full-time teaching in 2001. The school was a Catholic school in the Blue Mountains, St Columba’s. While I still had faith I, like many others my age, had stopped going to church and I found much of the teaching and focus on social justice to be great for my spirit and enflamed a desires to get back involved in a church. The ethos of the school is represented in the school crest which is made up of a dove, olive branch and the words “Act Justly”. The full motto of the school is ‘to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God’. These words come from the Old Testament, or Tanakh (Hebrew bible) reading for this week (Micah 6:1-8).
“He 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?
This is a beautiful verse but the verses before it can be a bit more difficult to understand. To help you understand what is going on let me give you a bit of historical context. Micah was speaking to people whose religious practice and way of living were not in alignment. Religious practice was not in thanks for all that God in the past to save them. In fact it seems they had forgotten all God had done and seemed to have some complaints against God. So God asks them the rhetorical question:
“Dear people, how have I done you wrong? Have I burdened you, worn you out? Answer me!”
But rather than wait for the answer God goes on to say:
“I was the one who got you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves. I saved you and freed you. I was the one who provided you with good leaders: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
And remember how King Balak of Moab conspired to curse you, but when he gave the job to Balaam he blessed you instead. And don’t forget, my people how you got from one side of the great river to the other. Keep in mind all that I, the LORD, have done; all the actions I have taken to get you to safety.”
The people then with all this in mind ask “how then do we repay God? With burnt offerings? A calf maybe? With thousands of rams? Maybe ten thousands of rivers of oil will be enough? Or maybe my firstborn, the flesh of my body?”
God does not want any of this “stuff”. God does not desire our things rather God wants us to be our best selves. To be people who look after others who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
Rev Tammy Hollands