Prayer: Too Big, Too Small

A prayer on reading Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, o mortal, 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.”

Exalted God,

you ask too little and too much of us.

You show us justice and mercy and humility,

but it seems so small.

We want the exciting, large gestures

  • burnt offerings, calves a year old
  • thousands of rams, ten thousands rivers of olive oil
  • our children, offered to cover our sin

We want the large and spectacular gestures,

but what you ask is so small

  • justice, mercy, and humility

so small and yet so hard.

It is hard because it seems never-ending

like washing the dishes,

like making the bed,

care for the poor and weak is always before us,

like doing the laundry

like brushing our teeth,

forgiveness, faithfulness, and love are needed daily

We want something we can do to make you pleased with us,

the bigger the better, so we can get it done and get on with what we were doing,

but you have something much smaller and deeper in mind

  • justice, mercy, and humility

Daily, hourly, momentary crosses to bear.

You have already done all that was needed,

but you had us in mind in these acts of love,

you want us whole and holy,

and your creation filled with your glory.

  • justice, mercy, and humility

At once so small and yet far too big for us.

Fill us with your Spirit,

that our small acts of justice might reflect your justice,

that our small acts of love might show forth your love,

that our small acts of humility might remind us of your humiliation on our behalf.

In the name of Jesus Christ, the crucified savior, Amen.

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