God'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.
Jesus: You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God's Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that's wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?
I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God's love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.
So what are followers of Jesus to do in their world? Short answer: whatever Jesus did in his. And it can all be put under these headings: evangelism, compassion/mercy, justice, reconciliation and peace-making...
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.
Lord, I have not loved you with a pure heart,
nor loved my neighbour as myself.
I am guilty of ignoring injustice,
I have not been kind when I had so many opportunities,
I have been proud, and not walked humbly before you, my God...
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy...
Jesus, Lamb of God
have mercy on me.
Jesus, bearer of my sins,
have mercy on me.
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant me your peace.
I will go out into the world in peace
and with courage,
holding on to what is good,
returning to no one evil for evil,
strengthening the fainthearted,
supporting the weak, helping those who suffer,
honoring all people
loving and serving the Lord,
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord I receive your ancient blessing:
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face
and make you prosper.
Notes: Micah 6:8, Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, Prayer of St. Francis, Aaronic blessing Numbers 6:24-26.