In August 2010, four young adults participated a mission trip to Romania to work at a summer camp as part of Lehigh Presbytery’s ongoing partnership with the Hungarian Reformed Church in Romania. Read all of their entries.
Travel to YMCA Camp Located in the Brasov Region
1 Listen to what the LORD says:
“Stand up, plead your case before the mountains;
let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 Hear, O mountains, the LORD’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the LORD has a case against his people;
he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 “My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab counseled
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal
that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”
6 With what shall I come before the LORD
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams
with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
~ Micah 6:1-8
Several years ago I was at a missions conference, and a group of people shared with great pride how they had built three churches for people in a country in Asia. They spoke of how they raised the funds for these buildings, and then sent teams to the towns to build the churches for the people in the towns. After finishing the construction, they held a big worship service, singing the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation” and then the pastor from the US church handed the keys of the church over to the pastor of the new local congregation.
As I head the story, I felt sad, because I believe that these US Christians, however well intentioned, missed the point of missions. They did everything TO and FOR the other people, and nothing WITH them. They built a building to their own specifications, not the needs of the local people, they handed off the building with a worship service that was all US culture and not of the indigenous population.
Basically, they forgot one of the most important parts of faith: Walking humbly with our God.
In Micah 6, God holds what is basically a trial against Israel for Israel breaking her covenant with God. In their culture, people who had a complaint against another would go to the city gates and have their case heard before a neutral mediator. God’s neutral mediator in this case? The mountains. God lays out several examples of how God kept his covenant with the people. They can’t deny it. Then they respond in the way we might when we get stopped for speeding on the highway after being passed by several people. “What do you want from us?” “You expect us to go a thousand miles when all you wanted originally was a mile?” It’s all about them.
God’s response in 6:8 is famous. “He has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In what ways can you seek out and do justice today? As an individual and as a group. How can you demonstrate to others your love of mercy. How can you translate God’s mercy to those you interact with today? And in what ways can you be humble as you walk with God?
First Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem
Camp Brainerd Care Team