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What is Micah Ministry?                               By: The Rev. Dr. Franco Kwan

 

The Church has been developing congregations recently with a focus on Micah 6.  “What is Micah 6?” you might ask.  The prophet Micah saw the horrible way in which Israelites were treating women, children, the less fortunate, and those who didn’t have war on their minds (2:8).  They ate “the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron” (3:3).  They treated those less fortunate as their enemy.  These were all violations of the covenant made between the Israelites and God (Deut 5:21, Lev 19:13).  They had already forgotten that they were enslaved in Egypt.  They had forgotten how the Egyptians had treated them.  They had forgotten how they suffered as slaves.  The oppressed had become the oppressors.

 

God had freed them and led them out of bondage, and they were wondering what they could do to repay God.  "With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?  Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?  Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (6:6-7)

 

Is that what God wants us to do?  Yes, we should please God.  It is our duty, our responsibility to glorify God and give Him thanks.  But those are not the only things God wants.  If all we do is try to show God our appreciation for all he has done, we really haven’t shown God any appreciation.

 

In today’s terms, we Christians should not only go to church every Sunday, to sing beautiful hymns, worship him through liturgy and give a monetary offering.  These are good things to do, and they are our responsibilities as Christians, but they are not enough.  Those things are not what God wants the most.  We cannot only “treat God well” but forget those who suffer around us.  That would be wrong.

 

In our religious life today, we seek to feel good in church.  We look for a good service, an inspiring bible study, an engaging Sunday school for our children.  Yes, it is good to enjoy a spiritual day once a week, it is good to recharged.

 

However, the prophet Micah challenges us to look at our ministry in the church.  Do we only care about our own spiritual wellness?  Do we as a church only provide a place to worship?  Do we only care about the music and liturgy?  Are we as a church preoccupied with wealth and power? 

 

Can we sit by while the children in our community go without summer school?  Can we see that there are people in our community who cannot afford to pay their rent?  Can we see that the elderly are struggling, having to choose between food or their medication?  Can we see the people in our community suffering from injustices?

 

Our God is the God who sent His only Son, into this world to save us from our sins.  God wants every one of us to be saved.  He doesn’t want any of us to suffer.  But if we enjoy our lives daily while not caring about those around us who are suffering, we are wrong, very wrong.  “For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”  (1 John 4:20)

 

Jesus’ mission was clearly mentioned in Luke 4:18-19. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."

 

If we say that we are disciples of Jesus, we should carry on the unfinished business which Jesus would surely wants us to do, to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to recover sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

 

Have you done any of the above in the years that you have claimed to be following Jesus?  As a Christian, it is something that we must do.  It is not an option, it is an obligation, a requirement for all Christians.

 

The prophet Micah told the Israelite of his time as well as us in the present, “He (God) 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 (6:8).  The Apostle Paul says to the Church of the Ephesians, “As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Eph 4:1)  Let us reexamine the ministry of the Church, and do what the Prophet Micah has reminded us to do.

 

 

甚麼是彌迦事工?                           關燦康牧師

 

最近總會建立了一些彌迦事工的教會,到底甚麼是彌迦事工呢?先知彌迦看見當日以色列人壓那些貧窮的人、婦孺及不想戰爭的人。(28) 他們甚至把人的皮剝了、折斷其骨、煮其肉而吃之。(33)他們對待貧窮人如對敵人一般,這都違反了以色列人與上帝所立的約(申命記 5:21, 利未記 1913)他們忘記了他們曾經在埃及為奴,他們完全忘記了他們在埃及時如何受埃及人的虐待。曾幾何時,那些被壓迫者竟成為了壓迫人的人。

 

上帝是公義和愛的上帝,曾把他們從為奴之家拯救出來,他們要怎樣行才能報答上帝呢?我朝見耶和華、在至高上帝面前跪拜、當獻上甚麼呢豈可獻一歲的牛犢為燔祭麼耶和華豈喜悅千千的公羊、或是萬萬的油河麼我豈可為自己的罪過獻我的長子麼為心中的罪惡獻我身所生的麼68)上帝是否喜歡我們這樣對他呢?當然我們應該這樣取悅於上帝,這是我們對上帝應盡的責任,去榮耀他感謝他。但上帝真正要我們的並不止於此,這並不是我們對上帝表示感謝最好的方法。

 

用今天的話來說,我們基督徒並非每主日都到禮拜堂崇拜、唱美麗的歌曲、以莊嚴的禮儀來敬拜上帝和獻上大奉獻便足夠了。作為一個基督徒,在教會裡,這是我們應盡的責任。但是這是不足的,這不是上帝最闔心的。如果我們只知道怎樣對上帝好,而忘記了在我們周遭的人正在受著痛苦,這是天大的錯誤。

 

在今天的宗教生活上我們只在教會中找尋好的感受,如好的崇拜、親切的團契、屬靈的聚會、啟發性的查經班、和一個頂好的主日學給孩子。這當然是好的,每星期有這麼屬靈的一天來補充我們日常的需要。

 

先知彌迦挑戰我們去檢查我們教會的事工。我們的教會是否只顧屬靈的事呢?教會是否只提供卓越的崇拜呢?我們教會是否只專注於崇拜中的音樂和禮儀呢?我們教會是否只專注於權力和財富呢?我們是否看見社區的孩子沒有暑期班可上呢?我們是否看見社區裡有很多人負擔不起昂貴的租金呢?我們是否看見社區的長者在食物和醫藥中作一選擇呢?我們是否看見社區裡有很多的人受著不公義的對待呢?

 

上帝是一個愛我們的上帝,他甚至差遣他的獨生子把世人從罪中拯救出來。上帝希望人人得救而不願有一人沈淪。如果我們只董每天享受著幸福的生活而不顧我們社區裡甚或世界上某一個地方上有人在受苦,這是大錯特錯呢!「人若說、我愛上帝、卻恨他的弟兄、就是說謊話的不愛他所看見的弟兄、就不能愛沒有看見的上帝。愛上帝的、也當愛弟兄、這是我們從上帝所受的命令。」(約翰一書420

 

耶穌基督的在世上的使命於路加福音書中很清楚地記載著:「主的靈在我身上、因為他用膏膏我、叫我傳福音給貧窮的人差遣我報告被擄的得釋放、瞎眼的得看見、叫那受壓制的得自由、

報告上帝悅納人的禧年。」( 路加福音418-19)如果我們說我們是基督的門徙,我們就應當繼續主耶穌未完成的任務去傳福音給貧窮的人報告被擄的得釋放、瞎眼的得看見、叫那受壓制的得自由、報告上帝悅納人的禧年。

 

你說你跟從耶穌,在這些年中你有否繼續耶穌的使命呢?作為基督徙我們一定要這樣做。這不是可選擇的,而是所有基督徒的責任和要求

 

所以先知彌迦對以色列人,也是對今天的我們,說:世人哪!耶和華已指示你何為善,他向你所要的是甚麼呢?只耍你行公義,好憐憫、存謙卑的心,與你的上帝同行。68)使徒保羅對以弗所教會說:「我為主被囚的勸你們、既然蒙召、行事為人就當與蒙召的恩相稱。」以 弗 所 書41)讓我們再次查驗我伉教會的事工且去做先知彌迦提醒我們要倣的事工

 

 

Last Modified: 11/10/2003