Wednesday, October 21, 2009
‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ Matthew 12:7
I celebrated the wedding of a long time family friend several weeks ago. It was a lovely outdoor wedding in a beautiful setting. It was nice to be back where we once lived and wonderful to visit with old friends and to make a few new ones on the way. The garden where the wedding was held was decked out in flowers and grass was brilliant green as there had been so much rain. As the wedding party was processing out after the ceremony, I noticed the flower girl desperately trying to pick up all of petals she had strewn on her entrance. I tried to tell her she didn't need to do that. She told me that she would be in terrible trouble in she did not clean up. Someone taught her a lesson she would not forget.
I often think that we do a good job of teaching children the rules while we fail to teach them tenderness and forgiveness. We often break the rules ourselves but want to punish others severely who act out less than we do. God is love and forgiving others is what God asks of us, and yet we too often judge, and rarely forgive. Jesus and his disciples were judged for eating on the sabbath. Then Jesus did something worse - he healed a man on the sabbath. God, the author of the universe, created a complex and diverse world, and yet we Christians often act as if we have to be the hall monitors for others, rather than the compassionate heart of Christ in this world.
God desires mercy and so this day will be dedicated to mercy. Today I wish to see everyone with the loving, adoring eyes of a merciful creator. I want to spend today suspending judgment of others, and opening myself to mercy. May God give us all the strength to live out God's desire of mercy today.