Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Preach no Politics or Economics: Bible Commentary on Micah 2 with poem by Henry C. Spear, The Message of Micah

Daily Readings
Job 24 Exodus 13:1-14:4 Micah 2 I Corinthians 1

Daily Text: Micah 2

Preach No Politics or Economics
Micah 2 is more straightforward that his opening chapter, at least for English speakers in the 21st century. But his clarity is little comfort. He preaches against political and economic chicanery that deprives the poor, the widow and the orphan. The rich objects of his scathing attack protest that he should not preach such things. The LORD, they say, is not in his message. They might be a little guilty, but not enough for the LORD to lose all patience. Micah’s retort ends with him crying out for them to leave Israel because of their filthy iniquity. And, then, sarcastically, he mimics that they need preachers who will stick with personal sins like excessive drinking, but will soft pedal their heinous behavior. How contemporary this discussion resonates! Any pastor could give a numerous examples. Don't preach politics, indeed.

The Message of Micah
Woe to them that devise iniquity and work evil—Micah 2:1
Henry C. Spear

A peasant from Jerusalem to the sea
Declared to Isr’el transgression and sin;
Proclaimed God hurt by immorality;
Pronounced the doom he saw was surging in.
What was the sin of old Jerusalem?
It was the grandeur, ground out of the poor;
Devisers of iniquity, condemn!
The mills of God grind slowly, but so sure.
“What doth a holy God require of thee?”
(But princes, prophets, priests knew not their God)
“It’s justice, kindness, and humility,”
That stays Almighty’s disciplining rod.
Those who cry, “Peace,” and then prepare for wars
Will not be in the remnant that restores.

Collect for the Day
Incline us, O God!
to think humbly of ourselves,
to be saved only in the examination of our own conduct,
to consider our fellow creatures with kindness,
and to judge of all they say and do
with the charity which we would desire from them ourselves.
[475:257:535 Jane Austen]


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