Scripture Focus: Micah 7.7-9
7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, 
I wait for God my Savior; 
my God will hear me. 
Israel Will Rise
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! 
Though I have fallen, I will rise. 
Though I sit in darkness, 
the Lord will be my light. 
9 Because I have sinned against him, 
I will bear the Lord’s wrath, 
until he pleads my case 
and upholds my cause. 
He will bring me out into the light; 
I will see his righteousness. 

Reflection: Admit the Dark — Hope of Advent
By John Tillman

In order to hope in the light, we first have to notice and confess that we live in the dark.

Micah, like his contemporary, Isaiah, acknowledges his own part of his country’s sin. (Isaiah 6.5) In our day, too many people are concerned about denying their part in group or national sins. 

“Well, I didn’t do that.” 
“That’s not my sin.” 
“I’m innocent of that.”

These types of protestations are rarely found in the mouths of God’s faithful prophets. Micah and Isaiah speak to condemn their culture, but they do not separate themselves from it by claiming innocence. In contrast, they dive in, confessing their complicity in the corruption that surrounded them.

After all, when the farmer selling grain is cheated by the baker who uses false weights, (Micah 6.10-11) does not the one who buys bread benefit? Doesn’t the one who buys a sandwich made from that bread benefit?

We cannot divorce ourselves from societal and cultural sins. When we live in systems connected to victimization of the poor, or in countries built by oppression, we have our part to confess in those sins. God promises to punish “unto the fourth generation” those who do evil in the land. (Deuteronomy 5.9-10; Numbers 14.18; Exodus 34.7; Psalm 79.8; 109.14) If you do the math in your own country’s history, there’s a lot of sin that we, rather than denying our guilt, should be confessing and seeking repentance from.

May we pray instead as Micah and Isaiah did, confessing our sins and the sins of our fathers and mothers. Instead of distancing ourselves from the guilt of these events, let us confess them to God and men and move toward repentance and reconciliation.

Let us admit that we have fallen, so that we may rise.
Let us confess that we sit in darkness, so that we may hope in the light.
Let us wait on Christ our Savior, watching in hope for him.
He will hear us. He will save us.
It is he who will plead our case.
It is he who will bear the Lord’s wrath.
It is he who will lead us out into the light of his righteousness.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commandments. — Psalm 119.10

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings

Micah 7 (Listen – 3:36)
Luke 16 (Listen – 4:27)

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Aren’t we in many ways waiting for the things they were waiting for? Revenge? Power? Worldly success?