From the Pastor
Mercy is something we all hope for in our lives. We hope for it when we are pulled over by a police officer or when a project is late. We also want it or dare I say, expect it from God. I have always heard it said, “Mercy is not getting what you deserve.”
In the Old Testament scriptures, the word translated mercy means a sincere, kindly sympathy for someone who has been experienced affliction or misfortune joined with a desire to relieve the suffering.
God’s most significant expression of mercy is seen in the way he reaches out to sinners who are lost, even because of their own choices. God reaches out and offers all of us a relationship that none of us deserves. As Tom Oden says, “Mercy is the form taken by divine love when sin has blocked off other avenues” (Systematic Theology I:127).
God reaches out to us in mercy in many ways we do not expect. We are born into this world wanting to go our own way, and for many people, that doesn’t change. As we grow older, we learn about what God wants of us, and yet refuse it.
God’s mercy reached out to us to show us the right way and continues to reach out to us even when we begin reaping the consequences of our choices to do things our way instead of God’s. God reaches out because he sees the miserable state we are in and offers us a way out.
To me, that demonstrates the love and mercy of God more than anything else. Even though we go our own way, God wants better for us. But God will not force us into compliance. We must respond to God’s mercy with repentance and humility, ready to return to the path of obedience.
This week we will take a long look at God’s mercy. God reaches out to all of us out of God’s sheer mercy. I hope that we will all learn to recognize it and respond to it.