What Does the Lord Require of Us?

From Rev. Eric Carswell, Head Pastor
November 6, 2019

The answer to the above question given through the prophet Micah is, “To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Is this a heavy burden? Sometimes it certainly seems to be one. When we are strongly inclined to do something that is unjust, lacking in mercy, or arrogant about our abilities and wisdom as compared to the Lord’s, resisting this inclination can be hard. Our mind can come up with many justifications for the behavior we’re contemplating. Following the Lord can seem to require us to sacrifice so much.
The Lord wants us to work to do better than we would otherwise do. If we try to follow the Lord with something of a humble heart, our minds can be open to a higher and deeper set of joys and fulfillment. We will find that the life He would lead us to is clearly a better one than we would have naturally chosen for ourselves. But we won’t be able to see this looking forward from our natural inclinations. It will be something that we can really recognize in retrospect after our initial efforts require self-compulsion to follow teachings that initially seem like they require a significant sacrifice.
We as a congregation can also consider what the Lord wants us to do. Does He seek a great sacrifice from us? Sometimes it may seem like each member in a church congregation is called on to do so much. Maintaining all that we try to do as a congregation requires contributions of money and volunteer time. These useful activities should serve the needs of the present members, but they also need to look beyond the present to both other adults outside the present active membership, and to the children growing up with the congregation.
If some program or activity doesn’t seem to serve our present needs, it perhaps was serving a different need. Some people arrive at a Sunday service hoping for a clear simple message that they can use to lead a better life in the coming days. Others arrive at the same service with decades of attendance and personal reading, hoping for the intellectual stimulation of rich and deep doctrinal instruction that helps them better understand the Lord, His Word and the life He wants us to live. In some congregations, both sets of needs are met through services that begin with a children’s talk and then are followed by an adult sermon. In Bryn Athyn, there are a number of services to choose from – and still some attenders may sense their particular state was less well served by it.
It is the Lord’s intention that our efforts to serve Him as a congregation will not only help His Church, but they will also bring growing love, wisdom, and happiness to each of us individually and enrich the life of this congregation as a whole. May each of us respond to the Lord’s call to service in our own way and may we as a church work together to help the Lord accomplish great things.

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