Saturday, May 22, 2021

On a hillside 23) B5 Mercy love


I need to catch up with an earlier Beatitude: Happy are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Because mercy is a sure sign that God is at work. Mercy is another great Bible word. God word. Psalm 136 has the refrain over and over again (26 times). His mercy endures for ever. The NIV translates it love. It’s a boundlessly wonderful word of unconditionally outgoing love.  Practical, mercy love.  And it’s wide ranging. 

It’s mercy love to people in need. It’s Good Samaritan mercy. The Good Samaritan story is reckoned to be the best known story Jesus told.  Everybody who hears it wants to believe that if they saw someone in need by the roadside they would stop, take pity, and offer help. But the truth is that it is too easy to make excuses. I mentioned Stan earlier. Someone I got to know with a matter of fact approach to life even when he was dying of cancer. 'No big deal' he said to me.  His view of giving to charity was equally blunt. 'I never give money away.  People on the street only waste it on booze, drugs. You know those big charities…I don’t trust any of them. How can you be sure that anything you give will not be swallowed up in their own expenses?  Why should I with my hard earned cash and my own family needs to meet be bothered?  And there’s so much need, too many causes. Why should I bother.  Why should I care?' And that big question WHY is even sharper when we see. 

Mercy love also applies to people who hurt us.  There won’t be anyone reading this who hasn’t been hurt by what someone else has done or said. It is very easy to be hurt by other people. Sometimes the hurts are so deep we feel they have ruined everything. Hurts begin young. Children can be hurt by parents, and parents by children. Employers, employees, friends, marriage partners, pastors,  It comes with the territory of living in a world where there is so much hurt. And shamefully we know that we can hurt others, sometimes unintentionally, and often we had no idea how deep the wound would go.

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