September 1, 2012
One of the great biblical summaries of how God wants his people to live is found in the words of the prophet Micah: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). The Lord, through his prophet, was not addressing people in general, telling them how to be saved or made right before him. He was, in fact, challenging his redeemed people, those who bear his name, accusing them of living lives that are utterly inconsistent with their calling to be his people. They must not imagine that they could substitute externalized rituals of religion for a God-honoring concern for other people. So he called them to do justice, described earlier in Micah as protecting the disadvantaged and marginalized. In the words of Micah’s contemporary Isaiah, “Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). They were also to “love kindness”, which goes beyond fulfilling legal responsibilities by showing compassion and kindness to those in need. And this was to be done by “walking humbly with your God”, seeking to honor him by giving of themselves to serve others.
That purpose of God for his people addresses Christians today. Challenged by it, years ago, we at Trinity Church felt called to serve our Lord and our community by taking responsibility for a part of it that had special needs and challenges, especially among school-aged children. We began an after-school program to address some of those needs by providing tutoring, mentoring, a safe place, skill development and fun. Most of all, there was a desire to represent the Lord Jesus well, and to provide a platform for sharing the good news of the gospel.
But we were borrowing facilities, and a time came when the space we had been using was no longer available to us. That was terribly disappointing but it proved to be God’s way of bringing a greater blessing. Parents of children who had profited by the program were so upset by its closure that they bombarded City Hall with concerns and requests. In God’s goodness, the city of Redlands approached us with an offer to lease, at a very nominal cost, a building that had just been vacated so that the program could both continue and grow. We chose to name that building Micah House, with Micah 6:8 as our direction. The city and the police department immediately recognized the value of the program and before long they offered us a second building to expand the scope of the ministry.
There are many who have given of time, energy, abilities and money over the years to enable Micah House to carry out its mission and to touch the lives of hundreds of families in the name of the Lord Jesus. As we celebrate what God has done and is doing at the two Micah Houses, and as we remind ourselves of why it exists to the glory of God, we want to ask you to pray for its ministry and, as the Lord leads, to use your gifts and abilities to make an eternal investment in the lives of children and families, as you walk humbly with your God.