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.
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
What does God ask of us? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). As the Covenant White Paper CMJ points out, justice, mercy, and humility are "all essential characteristics of God's nature and God's call to us." This is why Micah 7:19 directly links God's compassion and forgiveness. "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." We are called to compassion, mercy, and justice because we're called to be like God.
We're called to be compassionate, to identify with and join in the suffering of others. We're called to be merciful, to extend God's unconditional love. We're called to be people of justice, who join with God in making things right in our world.
But how do we, as a church, be people of compassion mercy and justice? Who are the marginalized, voiceless, oppressed, and invisible in Chandler? How could we extend love and mercy to them?
One such group of "the least of these" are the beautiful children of San Marcos Elementary School. This Chandler school, a few miles away from the church is very different from most Chandler schools. The vast majority of the children live in deep poverty, some live in trailer homes without electricity, others struggle to find basic necessities like clothes, shoes, and food. 100% of the students receive free lunches and uniforms. And yet few people in Chandler are even aware of San Marcos' challenges.
But we're aware and we're going to help. This Sunday we'll be announcing a year long partnership between Hope Covenant Church and San Marcos Elementary School. This school does not need our pity or charity--they need us to be friends who will come alongside them and humbly serve them. We'll be doing this in four ways:
- Weekly Tutoring: Once a week a group from Hope will be helping the teachers from 9-11am working with students in small groups.
- Monthly Teacher Appreciation: We want to encourage the teachers who work here by bringing them snack trays and other gifts once a month.
- Two Drives: We'll be helping with a "back-to-school" for the January semester, collecting an assortment of school supplies. Then, in May of next year we'll be launching a huge shoe drive.
- Events: We'll be volunteering at a few large school events of the next year, including their famous Cinco De Mayo party.
These are several very exciting ways to reflect the image of God in our city. I would invite you to pray about possibly becoming involved in this new ministry. If you're interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.