Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh Mercy

The beauty of the cross is the image of mercy that it portrays. Mercy is unwarranted compassion and kindness. It is not being given the punishment that you deserve. If you are aware that you are imperfect and dead in your sins, then the cross is an image of beauty. If you have no real conviction that despite your best efforts you aren't good enough, then the cross is nothing more than a historical footnote blown out of proportion by generations of people you write off as delusional.

I am always amazed at how many people are too stubborn (or too ignorant) to admit they need mercy in their lives. Do they really believe that they have wronged no one? Do they have no regrets?

I can understand why you would think I'm an idiot for believing I need mercy from some God you either hate or find to be obsolete. But do you really believe that there are no people in this world you have wronged? Do you really believe that (if you are honest) you would say you do not crave forgiveness or mercy from someone in your life?

If you say no, then you have lived a life so shallow and cut-off from other people that you have never invested enough in someone's life to risk hurting them. You have never loved. Or you are so self-absorbed that you don't care if you have wronged someone. Either way I am sad for you.

It isn't constricting to admit that you need mercy. It is freeing, because you realize that you can't save yourself. And when you receive mercy, you realize what it means to be completely and fully loved. And isn't that a beautiful thing? Isn't that liberating? Isn't that something you want?

A Prayer For The Wednesday Of Holy Week
Lord, we have wronged those we love and we have wronged you. We have regrets that haunt us. We reject as lies the notion that regrets are for the weak minded. We know that our regrets remind us that we are human. They remind us that we are loved, and that we took that love for granted.

But in your mercy, you do not leave us regretting the mistakes of our youth. You sent your son to rebuild those broken relationships. You were the one who was wronged, and yet you were the one who paved the way to forgiveness. We did nothing and deserved nothing, and yet we have received so much. Please let us live in this world as people who have experienced mercy, and let us extend mercy to those around us.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer

- Ben Reed, March 31, 2010

Mercy Now
Mary Gauthier

My father could use a little mercy now
The fruits of his labor
Fall and rot slowly on the ground
His work is almost over
It won't be long and he won't be around
I love my father, and he could use some mercy now

My brother could use a little mercy now
He's a stranger to freedom
He's shackled to his fears and doubts
The pain that he lives in is
Almost more than living will allow
I love my bother, and he could use some mercy now

My church and my country could use a little mercy now
As they sink into a poisoned pit
That's going to take forever to climb out
They carry the weight of the faithful
Who follow them down
I love my church and country, and they could use some mercy now

Every living thing could use a little mercy now
Only the hand of grace can end the race
Towards another mushroom cloud
People in power, well
They'll do anything to keep their crown
I love life, and life itself could use some mercy now

Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don't deserve it
But we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance
Dangle 'tween hell and hallowed ground
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
Every single one of us could use some mercy now

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