From Pastor Tom Strandburg:
In our online and in-person services of worship yesterday, I invited all our MLUMC members and friends to join us in making our response to this year’s generosity campaign, entitled “The Micah Challenge.”
In the writings of the Old Testament prophet Micah, God communicates a message to the people in a very unique way. Micah sets a “courtroom scene,” with creation itself serving as “the jury” to hear God’s “case” against God’s people: “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.” And what is the charge that God brings against the nation of Israel? As Micah 6 unfolds, the prophet reveals it – the people have not been just in their dealings with God and one another:
- They have withheld their offerings from the Lord.
- They have not cared for the poor and needy.
- They have been dishonest in their business dealings
As the prophet portrays the scene, he reminds the people of all that God has done for them, and he calls them to respond. As this little drama comes to a climax, God’s people cry out:
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 DO JUSTICE and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God.”
Micah’s challenge still applies to us today. We are called to DO JUSTICE, and to LOVE MERCY, and to WALK HUMBLY with our God. Will you join me in making your response to this challenge over the next two weeks? One of the keys to walking humbly with our God is to be thankful for all of God’s gifts, and generous in our own giving. This is the time of the year when we encourage every person to consider what they might give in support of our church’s ministry in the coming year. Normally, we do this in front of a full congregation during worship on a Sunday morning. As you know, our worshiping congregations are not at all full these days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Finance Committee is more than a bit worried about how we might accomplish this important task this year. I have told them not to worry, because our God is faithful, and our people are faithful. I am confident that we all will respond to the Micah Challenge to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God, in spite of the challenges that we face! Please review the campaign materials that are attached to this e-mail, and please respond in gratitude and in faithfulness. You may also make your pledge of support online through our church website, www.mlumc.org. Whether you pledge in-person, online, or through the mail, I know that God will be honored, and many will be blessed, by your response.
Yours in Service,
Pastor Tom Strandburg
Commitment Sunday is November 15. You can return your commitment card in person; by mail or email; or pledge online on the donation page of this website by navigating to “Giving.”