At the end of every summer, I find myself alongside 50 teenagers and an eclectic assortment of Christian peace activists, on the shores of a northern Ontario lake, for a week of experiential learning about peace and justice. As chaplain of “Camp Micah,” an ecumenical peace and justice leadership camp for high school age youth, it is my job to help bring to life the biblical text that provides the theme for the camp:
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
We at Camp Micah have divided the requirements the text lays out into three distinct teachings, for three distinct days of the camp week. On “Act Justly” day we have a lunch that simulates the unequal distribution of food in the world. On “Love Tenderly” day we hold our annual “Love Tenderly Olympics,” an event filled with cooperative games that remind us that we are all interdependent. On “Walk Humbly” day we tell our life stories, pointing out where we have seen God at work in our lives.
And as I have watched this rich biblical text transform the lives of the youth that come to Camp Micah, the teachings of Micah 6:8 have shaped my life as well. No other verse comes to mind as often as this one as I think about how God is calling me to live my life. The more I study about and reflect on this passage, the more I realize that three parts to this verse are not a list or a set of three separate instructions, rather, they are all different ways of describing one way of being. A way of being where our actions show that we are attuned to the needs of everyone in the community, and attuned to the ways that God is present in our midst.
What are the texts that have shaped and are shaping your life?