The Hebrew word for kindness – “ches-sed” – in this part of Micah 6:8 means not just being nice, but going above and beyond in terms of hospitality and service. We can think about love as an emotion – either you love someone, or you don’t – or, we can recognize that love is a verb. Practicing love means trying to do what is best for a person, even when it comes at a cost. Love is not the same thing as self-sacrifice – often we are most able to love when our own needs (not necessarily wants) have been met.
Jesus’ followers asked him once, “What is the greatest commandment?” He answered, “Love God with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole strength. The second greatest commandment is like it – love your neighbor as yourself.”
As a community committed to love, our goal is to help each other be better love-ers – of God, of each other, and of ourselves. Learning to reach out with kindness, to practice forgiveness, to see from another’s point of view, and to build a community that welcomes people as we all are, while challenging us to become who God has created us to be: that is love. As the apostle Paul writes, there are three great virtues in the Way of Christ: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously. “
Micah 6:8 – The Message translation