Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, October 6

God 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.
—Micah 6:8

In our apartment there are several closets. One has room for most of our clothes. My “good shirts” are on hangers, a well-worn sport coat waits for its next appearance at one “important” meeting or another, a few old jackets and sweaters also have their place. For the most part our clothes are “somewhere” in that closet.

But there is another closet just beside the front door. It doesn't have shirts, or vests, or ties. Instead, it has the winter essentials. My winter jacket has been pushed to the side, but it's there. So is the fleece jacket I can wear when it turns cool, and a raincoat just in case the heavens open up and it begins to pour. On the upper shelf there’s a pair of gloves, a scarf and a hat. This closet is for the essentials, without those things we couldn't begin to make it through winter.

Scripture can also be thought of as closets. One closet is full of clothes. It has all we need for every occasion. It is full of hymns, full of directions, full of stories, and full of color. Selecting just what we should wear is easier said than done, because there are so many choices. There is not one Samuel, but two; not one Timothy, but three; and not one gospel but four.

But scripture also has a closet just beside its front door. When we set out, the verses in this closet give us a few essentials. If we don’t have time to pick and choose, they are there waiting for us, summing up all that we need.

This verse from Micah, says to us, “Don't forget.”  It reminds us that in our activities we are to “do” justice. Thinking about it is fine, and being aware of it is helpful, but “doing” it is essential. We must “love” kindness. The link with kindness is anything but casual. We are to “love” it, to center our lives around it. And we are to not just walk humbly, but to walk humbly “with God.”

It's a tall order. Thank God for the closet of essentials that equip us for the living of life.       

Gracious God, when we're in a hurry to live our lives, thank you for the essentials that are right beside the door.

The Signposts for October are written by The Rev. Larry Pray, who for twenty years served as a pastor for the United Church of Christ in Minnesota and Montana, until a disability meant that he had to find new ways to express life. His first book was Journey of a Diabetic, about learning to accept incurable disease. Other publications include Leading Causes of Life, co-authored with Gary Gunderson, and The Geography of Healing that includes interviews with pastors, doctors and hospital administrators about where it is that we heal.