The Sermons of the author of "A Cathedral Soul"
To Walk With God

Date and place of preaching unavailable.

Micah 6:8
6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

How sad for Christian people that so many have worked so hard for so long to make Christianity so complicated. I am reminded of a poor befuddled janitor who worked for the Church of England. Over there they call a church janitor either a sexton, a verger, or a sacristan. One fine morning this old man was asked what he did for a living. "I don't rightly know guvner what ya calls my job anymores. We has bin through three vicars in three months. First Fr. Ramsey called me a sextet, next Fr. Jones he calls me a virgin, and now Fr. Coggins is a callin' me a sacrilege."

Thank the Good Lord for a text such as today's scripture for it is simple, it is to the point, and it is what common sense people would call "Bottom Line." Listen to it with your hearts: "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

"What does the Lord require of you"?
What does the Lord require of you!

Is it keeping these rules: be baptized in this or that way? Have this or that religious experience? and on, and on, and on ... No, not really.

Is it keeping these rules: be baptized in this or that way? Have this or that religious experience? and on, and on, and on ... No, not really.

But then, what does He require of us? What is expected of me from Heaven? Here is what! "To do justice". Lord, why are there weak people? Why so many poor? Why the sick, the unloved, the homeless? Why? and lest we forget it while asking such things of God -- we are called to do justice while we are alive and in the midst of such hurt, such cruelty, such inhumanity to man. If we must now live in such a world then God shall daily show us the way to do justice in the face of such injustice. It was wellsaid once:

"I'll take the hands
of those who cannot see
the sunshine and the falling rain --
I'll give my arm
to lead the weary ones along --
for I may never pass this way again."

And here is what as well: "to love kindness". Oh what is it to be in love with kindness, with mercy itself? It is none other than to be in love with God in such a way that your kindness, your mercy toward others simply shows others how wonderful is our God! It isn't that we make a show of it but rather, it shows and it glows and it grows for you are in love after all and how do you hide being in love with God?

When you are truly in love, the beloved is cherished. To be in love is to cherish her voice, her ways. To be in love is to long for her presence, to treasure every memory of her!

Do I love God? Then I love every merciful thing He does, I want to be where He's been and where He's often known to be. It is no over-simplification to say then, "Let's go to Church" for the right reason! Let's help, clothe, encoruage, feed, have kind mercy upon anyone and every one He brings our way this day and tomorrow and after tomorrow and until the day we die -- for we are in love with kindness since we are in love with God.

And in it all, and through it all, "to walk humbly with the Lord". How does one walk with Him who is invisible, how does a mortal walk with the Immortal, the Almighty?

Well, if I walk with you then obviously we are agreed upon the arrangement and we are heading in the same direction. I'd like to think that as we walk together we are enjoying both the walk and each others company. Certainly we are aware of one another! The walk, the direction, the fellowship, the common goal, the purposes in our hearts are all in themselves evidences that we walk together. And even so, doing as justly as the Lord has provided for us to do justly is evidence of how we walk and of with Whom we are walking. And this whole matter of loving kindness, of cherishing and practicing its mercy is proof that I'm heading in the right direction, the Heaven-ward direction.

How beautifully wonderful His invitations through life's circumstances. How He asks us to walk humbly with Him until our lives are all over down here, how wonderful that is. It's not meant to be complicated even though the world we must pass through is very often dark and complicated. We need no theological degree to walk with Him for it is always put so gently in His Word. Listen!

Listen!

He "used to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening." Our own "evenings" fast approach -- shall we not then slow down a bit and consider how those approaching shadows could hold a comforting grace for us who walk humbly in them with our God?

"Enoch walked with God and Enoch was seen no more." Shall we determine to so walk with Him that it shall be said of us long after we leave this purgatory of a heartless world, "Yes, he always wanted to go Home and now he has." Such can only be said honestly of those whose lives brought a bit of Heaven with them wherever on earth they happened to be.

"He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul." And if we will walk humbly with our God then He shall determine our mutual path, our singular direction. Though a secret storm rages within every man's breast from time to time,

"He leadeth me, Oh blessed thought,
Oh words with heavenly comfort fraught.
By His own hand He leadeth me."

And though nearby life's wild and restless oceans roar and foam, it is God who leads me safely Home! My soul is led to the still, cool waters when I walk humbly with Him. There are, my dears, such moments of peace and consolation though all about us is exploding and crashing down around us: if only we'll walk humbly with God!

It may rightly be said that each of us, even though we have been tiny infants, asked the Master "where are you staying?" at our baptisms. This question asked of God at our baptisms is lovingly answered every day, every new day, when we open our eyes to yet another opportunity to live and grow: "Come and see" says our Savior. And be it at the breakfast table or at the office or in the backyard or wherever, we are bidden to "come and see", to walk with God our waking hours and look everywhere and in every thing for Christ. And oh the blessedness of our sleep if we may then dream of our beloved God!

Where is this all leading us this side of Home? How may I surely know this One who leads me, that He is with me here and now? Jesus sums up the profoundly simple answer and in it we cannot be mistaken: "Come, take up your cross and follow Me." If you are in love with kindness and mercy then I strongly suspect you've heard His invitation and have felt the cross upon your back.

Now a cross is something easily recognized by those who follow the Man of the cross, there is no humbler or truer way of walking with God than Jesus' way, bearing whatever cross for the love of Love. His footprints are the surest path, the sure and certain direction -- they're the ones with the blood in them and they cannot be mistaken ever!

And this is the bittersweet thing about such an holy walking through life toward the after-life: more often than not we are so tied up and lost in our efforts to just get through any given day that we are unawares that we are honored by God to bear some cross and follow His Son. For every decision to do the right in a world daily going wrong we shall find ourselves at cross-purposes with this paganized culture. Crisis and cross are much the same in meaning. I've been told this and I believe it. Like St. Thomas we come to doubt until somewhere along the way we are startled to discover that doubt itself is a most common form of cross. Suddenly we glimpse His wounds and amidst the crisis we cry painfully: "My Lord and my God!"

Or a given day shall find us trying to just be "kibitzers" of the passing tragedies of somebody else's life when of a sudden the same cross is forced upon our souls. St. Simon of Cyrene is our patron saint for a time and it will be, as surely it was in his case, a while afterwards that we will begin to understand whose cross it was and whom it was we so grudgingly followed.

Nor must we ever suppose that we'll ever be finished with this sort of walking with God. The "Easters" of our lives all have their Good Fridays. Just when we think that the way of the cross shall not intrude upon our "looked forward to" moment of rest, when we have told one another along our mutual sojourns that we have left whatever Calvary behind us -- our hearts shall be strangely warmed, we shall notice the scars deep-etched into our Compatriot's hands.

Oh let us not go through life unconscious of Who He is and who we are and where this is all leading.

(Having re-read this old sermon, I recall the words of a song that I like very much, it is from the movie, "Miracle In The Rain" and it describes love ... in my case my love for my beloved wife. Such is love for God as well.)

I'LL ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOU

Come joy or sorrow, I'll always believe in you,
for you taught my heart to smile.
You are my inspiration, my love, my life to be,
Your arms my destination, the only place for me.
Come light or darkness, I'll always believe in you,
for you made my life worthwhile,
You kept every promise,
made every dream come true:
And that's why I'll always believe in you.

Merry Christmas beloved!

Love,

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