As a church, we’ve been doing a deep dive into what mercy is and how as a community of faith we can extend mercy to others.
As a church, we’ve been doing a deep dive into what mercy is and how as a community of faith we can extend mercy to others. Each week of sermon preparation, I’ve had to look in the mirror at my personal effectiveness/ineffectiveness of being an agent of mercy to the world around me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been preparing sermons at a local coffee shop. I’ve overheard conversations…some I wish I could un-hear… and even been a part of conversations with strangers in regards to areas of concern in the lives of everyday people. The financial tensions…whether it’s college debt, post divorce fallout, or just trying to keep up with the Jones’. The health tensions….whether it’s personal or a loved one. Even fear of the future. What is most surprising to me is how almost all of the people I encounter place their comfort in life on items that can disappear tomorrow. Not only their comfort but also their happiness and sense of identity. In their areas of pain or tension, these same individuals desired “more.” The very things that they find comfort in, they need more of to mask the pain of their present realities…..many of these individuals knowing that their desire for more of the tangible will not satiate their pain, depression, sense of being lost, hopelessness, always not feeling good enough, or even their drive (or overdrive). God’s hand of mercy has already been on all of their lives and many of them have no idea. The more that they all are seeking is actually more mercy. More of God’s activated love being present in their lives. What if they could actually see God’s hand of mercy in the midst of the pain? Where the everyday pain of everyday people encounters the everyday mercy of an everyday (not just Sunday) God? As I encounter these souls, I’ve come to realize that God’s presence is in the present. As followers of Jesus, we tend to point others to the other side…where victory is…..where God is. We forget about His presence in the present. Even in the darkness, God’s mercy is in action. What could it look like if we listen to the Holy Spirit in our interactions with others? See where the Holy Spirit is already at work in the life of the unbeliever who is in pain? Point it out and ask God for MORE MERCY? James 2:13b MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGEMENT