Year A - Epiphany 4 or Guiding Gift 4
February 2, 2014
One way of approaching a public reading of the scriptures is to have them be read as part of a larger conversation. If we expect folks to make connections from disconnected readings we are not paying attention to the way folks work or learn.
Here it would be helpful to remind folks that contention is not an automatically bad thing. Too often we prefer “order” to “change” and turn any “differences” into “nice”.
1) Note the tradition of G*D and creation being in contention. This means they are fruitfully engaged in figuring out their relationship and the future.
2) Now we can hear Prophet Micah set up the situation (Micah 6:1-7) and his summary of principles (Micah 6:8) upon which to engage a next stage of clarity (confrontation’s purpose).
3) Then we can hear Jesus say: Micah’s principles needs some additional flesh on them. Here are some applications of them regarding the way we look at others and see the blessing they carry with them (Matthew 5:1-10).
4) With Jesus, we need to hear that these blessings pose a danger as well. If we are going to take them seriously, they will put us athwart the political, economic, and moralities of the current time. (Matthew 5:11-12).
5) More than hearing is need. We need to return to Micah 6:1-2 and risk contending with one another and with G*D. This feedback loop of contentious setting, statement of principles, practical application, engaged risk, and a return to a review of the contention now — is important. Cutting it off at just hearing the principles or applications is to weaken and kill the dynamic of change in favor of stifling order.