Mercy within mercy within mercy…
Can we forget God’s mercy? Sadly, yes. Today’s lectionary readings remind us of God’s overwhelming mercy.
Moses reminds God of His mercy and the people are spared, despite their worship of the Golden Calf. (Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14)
David mourns his sins – adultery and murder of Uriah – beseeching God for mercy. (Psalm 51: 3-4, 12-13, 17, 19)
Paul recalls the mercy of God which embraces him, a blasphemer and a persecutor. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)
Jesus shares three parables of mercy: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the father who welcomes the lost son. (Luke 15:1-32)
But what struck me this morning was the beginning of the Gospel:
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus…
I wonder if our churches are filled with sinners and our enemies, drawing near to Jesus.
Yes, we’ll say that we all are sinners. But what about those we despise as sinners – Trump supporters, Hillary supporters, Communists, terrorists, right-wingers, left-wingers?
Are they welcome as we come together to worship?
Or, even more importantly, do we seek them out as the Good Shepherd does?
Or are our churches full of satisfied sinners?
This morning, perusing Facebook, I came across this photo of a sculpture of Timothy Schultz. It’s almost too difficult to consider – but our God is a God of mercy within mercy within mercy.