Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
all the nations shall come, Sister Corita Kent, 1955
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
— Micah 4:2
Many nations shall come... Clearly, Micah was a prophet for all people, not an exclusionist. In this he is perhaps a template for Jesus, reaching out to all nations, seeing all people as one people, as the children of one God. Alternating between judgment and hope, Micah's message first calls people to attention, to look at their own part in Israel's downfall, and then offers them the opportunity to be redeemed by changing their behaviour, and turning back to God, wholly and humbly.
This model of revealing and then amending is taken up by many spiritual traditions. My own experiences bring the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous1 to mind, in particular steps 4 & 5 and steps 8 & 9, each pair having this reveal/amend structure.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We cannot ask for redemption if we are not clear just how we have sinned. This is false piety. We cannot make amends to those we have harmed without taking ownership of our part in the relationship breakdown. We can too easily create more damage. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Micah reminds us to reflect before acting, to seek stillness before movement. It is sound advice for any difficult situation. If we learn God's ways, we can walk in His path. Restoration is the creation of oneness: one God, one people, one love.
For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.2
1 The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
1 Micah 4:5