A Weekly Word from your Pastor
“Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.”
It was late one evening in the darkness of the night. Peggy and I were out and we were going to the dollar store to get who knows what. As we entered the parking lot there were a great deal of cars searching for a parking space. Peggy and I lucked up as we were driving up someone was backing out right in front of us and we pulled in. We got out and walked into the store. We had gotten to the back of the store when all of a sudden a lady came up to me and began to bless me out. She told me that I had stolen her parking space and that she had her blinker on to get that space and I just shot in ahead of her. She was belligerent and angry and caught me completely off guard. Her voice was raised and I stood there shocked listening to her. She abruptly turned around before I had any chance to say anything and stormed back out of the store.
After a second I got my sense about me and started to head off and catch her when Peggy grabbed me and said, “Let it go.” I had not seen the lady or her blinker. I had not shot in in front of her. I was now the center of attention for anyone who was in the store and I was unable to defend myself. I gave the lady mercy. She deserved hearing from me, but instead I just let it go. I was innocent, but even though everyone else in the dollar store that day thought I was guilty I was merciful to the lady.
Mercy is not giving to someone what they deserve. Mercy is the essence of what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross. His mercy kept you and me off the cross. His mercy allowed for us to be forgiven. His mercy provides us with the opportunity to give mercy to others even when they do not deserve it.
When Jesus calls Matthew and goes to his house and parties with him and some of his friends, the religious people of the day condemned Jesus. Jesus heard their accusation and responds with these words, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Jesus is calling you and I to show mercy to those who are not like us. He is not calling us to be judgmental. He is calling us to show others mercy just as we have been shown mercy.
As we traverse these uncertain times may we seek to show mercy to all of those who need it. May we seek out those who are down and out and show them mercy by going above and beyond the call of duty. Jesus didn’t look at the outward appearance of people. He sought to change them from the inside out. I pray that God would give us the mercy to show others that no matter their plight, God loves them just as He love us. “Blessed are the merciful.”
Dear Jesus, help us to be merciful. Help us to reach out to those who may not see things like we do and show them mercy. Help us not to be judgmental or condemning. Help us to show them love just as you looked beyond our faults and love us. Jesus, thank you for your mercy. In Christ name we pray, Amen.