“A B C, easy as one, two, three
Are simple as do re mi
A B C, one, two, three, baby, you and me girl”

So the chorus of the ’70’s Jackson 5 lyric repeated over and over. Simple. Basic.

We know that “just the basics” are assumed by many to be that which we all get, and therefore what we all implement in daily life. Actually, we don’t! We so easily lose track of the “basics” that are foundational to our purposeful living. Consequently, sometimes we simply need to be reminded, just as the great football coach Vince Lombard once authoritatively said to his struggling team, “THIS is a football.”

So what is basic? What is foundational to our Christian response to the struggling culture of which we are part? Indeed, as God’s people, what would God have us do? For that matter, WWJD—Drain the swamp? Redistribute wealth? “Get the right guy in there?” Replace the whole government for something better? Hide in sanctified sand? Stand or kneel with raised fist? What?

Again, as we are clearly reminded in the scriptures:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
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 ESV

3 Basics. Three instructions God gives to His people; those who follow Him. They are to be as clear and directive as possible. How clear are they to us, to you, in today’s polarized turmoil? How are Christians to respond to culture’s cry?

Do Justice What is justice? It certainly can’t just be only what seems fair in our own eyes. You be the judge on how well that works! Justice is what is right in God’s own eyes, not yours. To “do justice” is to right a wrong; based on God’s eternal instruction, not on the public’s temporary opinion (a moving target?) You and I must have eyes that actually see the every-day disadvantaged or marginalized; those unable to fend for themselves. More than passively posting a front-lawn banner or rear bumper sticker for all to see, is to actively engage the solution. Christian, if not you, who?

Love kindness (mercy) What is mercy or “loving kindness”? Is it really up to whether or not we are “feeling it” for the other? Predictably, feelings change as do the tides. It is not so much how I feel about someone, whether or not they are deserving, but rather my faithful love for them irregardless. After all, is not such mercy or loving kindness what God has for us, His people?

Walk humbly What is humility? Something we easily embrace when we are disadvantaged? Really? Let’s just say it, “It ain’t natural to be humble!” Can others tell by the way you walk what your attitude is? You can’t strut and submit at the same time. I can’t humbly wash someone’s feet with attitude! After all, what we rightly do can only be done with God.

However, these basics are not as easy as one, two, three! Nor are they simple. They may be hard and costly to you; to me. But such seriously informs our right Christian response to the culture’s cry. And just like football this season (if it endures COVID-19), there will be plenty of hard hitting; that is, unless you are comfortable cheering from the stands.