(“Thoughts I Want To Leave Behind” is a collection of thoughts and impressions I want to leave behind as I begin to make my final pastoral transition.)
#23 The Threat Of Mercy
Mercy is a threat to a religious spirit. A religious spirit controls people with the fear of separation and expulsion for each violation of law. To the merciless there is no world beyond the boundary of broken law. They cannot see the promise land of hope and grace that exists on the other side of human failure.
Mercy asks questions that makes merciless people nervous – “Where are your accusers?” Mercy causes self-righteous religious gangs to put down their rocks and walk away. Mercy lists a prostitute in a God-genealogy. Mercy allows an adulterous king to retain his title – “A man after God’s own heart.” Mercy invites a three-time loser disciple to try again and “Follow Me”.
The evidence that you are a mercy-giver will be two-fold. You will be crucified by the controlling religious establishment, but loved by those to whom you extend mercy. These redeemed ones will be filled with joy and gratitude by your presence in their lives. To the ones holding rocks of judgment you will become their new target. Embrace both of these realities because this is the path that Mercy walked and this is the path He is asking you to walk in your journey of faith.