This Month's Message

Harpley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life is my Message." Mahatma Gandhi

Revd. Judith Pollard

Team Vicar

                                                                            

 

 


Septembert 2018

Mercy and the Cross of Christ:

Recent stories in the news have caused me to reflect on the Christian understanding of mercy.

Mercy is showing compassion or forgiveness to someone in one’s power to punish or to harm.
Human relationships can be very complicated but we always have the capacity to be kind and generous.  Often there is inequality in our relationships - one person being stronger than another, either physically or emotionally: the stronger person who has power is the one who can show mercy. You may remember a song by Duffy called Mercy?  Making someone beg for mercy is really harsh because we can freely choose to treat each other with kindness.   
An action to relieve suffering of any kind is a merciful act.

Imagine a condemned prisoner in America, on Death Row, facing the death penalty; the state governor has the power to be merciful and intervene, commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment.  He can show mercy.  We too can show mercy too, in much less dramatic ways, in the way we behave to one another.  Can you think of a time when you showed mercy to someone else? 

Shakespeare wrote: “The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: it blesses he who gives and he who receives.”  
Everyone benefits from mercy.

Christians call Jesus Christ ‘our merciful redeemer’.  He gave his life for us on the Cross, so that we might live as redeemed people, freed from sin. When he died Jesus took away our sins - and the sins of the whole world:   he showed mercy. The old hymn states: “There’s wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea....  a powerful image of the vast, limitless nature of God’s mercy.

The Cross is the powerful symbol of Jesus’s unfailing mercy to us. We are weak, we don’t always do the right thing - but Jesus is merciful and he will always forgive us. The Cross is the universal symbol of our faith as Christians. It can remind us of many things: suffering, humility, reconciliation…   and also, importantly, hope and love. God offers us the hope of redemption through Jesus Christ.  God loves us unconditionally; we are made in his image to reflect his truth and light and we each have the opportunity for a personal relationship with God through faith. This is what the Cross reminds us of: our merciful God, who always loves us, even though we don’t deserve it..

The Bible tells us:  “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.”  What an inspiring thought to keep in mind.  

With love, 

Judith.           

 


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