Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lord, Have Mercy

The gospel reading for today is about a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who implores Jesus to show him mercy and heal him. I'm not preaching because we have an anniversary speaker, David Armour, but we looked at the passage in bible study this past Wednesday.

In his book Speaking Christian Marcus Borg reminds us that we often imagine the word "mercy" in terms of someone cowering before another who is more powerful, or whom we have harmed, therefore seeking forgiveness. The image of a powerful and offended God often comes into the Christian equation of forgiveness, at least in some traditions.

Borg invites us to consider mercy in terms of compassion, which he considers a more accurate interpretation. The beggar Bartimaeus has not wronged Jesus. He seeks compassion, and Jesus extends it, and Bart joins the way, which is The Way.

I am also musing on mercy as something we actively offer, as well as what we receive. One of the pleasures of having adult children is that they share their likes and dislikes. It happens this week that our younger daughter, Emily, encouraged us to listen to the song Mercy by the Dave Matthew's Band. We liked it enough to download it. Here are the lyrics and a Youtube link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kww33eLc6Cs


 Don't give up
I know you can see
All the world and the mess that were making
Can't give up
And hope God will intercede
Come on back
Imagine that we could get it together
Stand up for what we need to be
Cause crime won't save our feet or hungry child
Can't lay down and hope no miracles change things
So lift up your eyes
Lift up your heart

Singing mercy will we overcome this
Oh one by one could we turn it around
Maybe carry on just a little bit longer
And I try to give you what you need

Me and you and you and you
Just want to be free yeah
But you see all the world is just as we've made it
And until we got a new world
Got to say that love is not a whisper or a weakness
No love is strong
So we got to get together yeah
Gotta get gotta get gotta get
Til there is no reason
To fight

Mercy will we overcome this
Oh one by one could we turn it around
Maybe carry on just a little bit longer
And I try to give you what you need

Mercy will we overcome this
Oh we come to far to turn it around
Oh and asked too much to be a little bit stronger
But I want to give you what you need

Mercy what will become of us
Oh one by one could we turn it around
Maybe carry on just a little bit longer
And I try to give you what you need.


This is another longer-than-usual blog! Any thoughts on mercy: mercy received, mercy offered, God's mercy?

Solar panels on St. Paul's? Check it out.
http://groundlingearthyheavenly.blogspot.ca/2012/10/community-of-son-and-sun.html

2 comments:

Lori-Ann said...

I am reading Robert Altar's translation of Job right now, and each time I read Job I see something different. The first time, or possibly the first several times, I tended to center my reading on the question of how a merciful God could allow suffering; but this time around I find myself asking why it is that when We encounter suffering we ourselves, as God's instruments, so often fail to let God's mercy flow into the world through us. When I think of it this way it seems that God's ability to show mercy relies greatly on our own willingness to bring it into the world. Otherwise are we not often viewing mercy as a type of miracle? It is the difference between seeing God as a presence working through us or as a kind of capricious wizard exercising mercy through the tip of a magic wand. Of course, there are miraculous healings and such, but on the whole I think mercy requires human couriers.

willowjakmom said...

Well said, Lori-Ann.