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?
As a student in high school, I walked past a new synagogue each day on my way to school. On the concave, brick facade were metal letters that said:
DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD
I couldn’t go by that synagogue without saying those words to myself. I don’t believe I’ve ever thought about the meaning of any group of words as much as I have of those eight.
Do, love, and walk are all action verbs and God’s interest is in how we react to them. The words themselves demand action from us.
TO DO JUSTICE calls on all God’s people to work for fairness for all, especially the weak and powerless.
TO LOVE MERCY/KINDNESS speaks of the forgiving love with which we relate to others: our children, spouses, friends, strangers, and God.
TO WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD is at his invitation because he wants to have a closer, daily relationship with us. We are humbled by the invitation knowing that God has chosen us to be in his presence.
Loving God, may our doing, loving, and walking with You be pleasing in your sight. May we strive be fair, full of mercy and kindness, and always humble in your presence. Amen.