Many people dismiss church life saying, “I don’t believe in organized religion.” Well, it seems that Micah, and the prophets generally, also harboured a certain disdain for organized religion! In their judgment, God’s eternal vision of all humanity reconciled with God, the very purpose for which Israel organized its religious system of ritual sacrifice, had been, and is being, distorted. As evidence, those “filled with the spirit of the Lord” point to humanity’s distorted personal and social relationships.
Rather than binding people together, organized religion often divides-even the body of Christ-by catering to the latent fears, prejudices and suspicions which produce the war and hunger, injustice and oppression, greed and corruption Micah laments in today’s reading.
Today Micah holds each of us personally and all of us communally accountable for the distortion of our common humanity, and he challenges us, individually and collectively, to organize religion to reflect our reconciled companionship with God in our reconciling companionship with our neighbours, around the corner and around the world.
Righteous God, bind together the body of Christ in our congregation and in all churches, that all people may be reconciled with you and one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. — PL