Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16
This morning I want to write about this opportunity we all have to be carriers of mercy – and in turn agents of change – and become viral in a good way, in terms of the proliferation of light and life.
I am using this photograph from what can best be described as The Butterfly Initiative at our church because it is such a powerful metaphor. So thanks to Katherine Peiper, director of Children Family and Youth Ministries at WFPC, for both the photo and for the idea (the initial writeup from the church newsletter is pasted below my sign-off for today).
See how the butterflies, and the church, are reflected? So we have the opportunity to both reflect and spread the light and the color of God’s mercy.
In my opening paragraph I suggested a kind of viral mercy: First of all let’s talk about the word “mercy”. Mercy is more than simply holding back from attack or punishment, it is the kind of proactive compassion and love that continues to shape God’s relationship with humankind. Mercy frees people from slavery, establishes a covenantal relationship, and ultimately (inevitably) leads to Christ’s invitation for us to be come partners with God in extending mercy to the world.
Joining in with God!
This is what salvation is, not simply “being let off” but actively joining in with God in ongoing acts of mercy.
At this dark and disheartening time in the world it seems that fear and discouragement are more dangerous contagions than the Coronavirus. It is imperative, then, that those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus and partner with God activate the more powerful tools of light, grace, love, kindness, encouragement, and compassion.
Mercy is, essentially, the application of those tools to the needs of the world.
Our children’s ministry folk are not just coloring butterflies, they are deploying them. Likewise, we are God’s butterflies, deployed as splashes of light and color, initiatives of love, agents of mercy.
At least, that is what God had/has in mind when mercy was first extended to us – DEREK
Alleluia Butterflies: As we celebrate the resurrection, we don’t stop with simply ending our joy on Easter Sunday; we are EASTER PEOPLE!! The resurrection celebration continues throughout the year! In order to have a reminder of celebration, even in this time of separation, let’s create an ALLELUIA BUTTERFLY GARDEN!!Click here for an Alleluia Butterfly coloring page… we invite EVERYONE in the family to color a butterfly!! Print it out, decorate it as you choose, then swing by and drop it in the bin right outside the church front doors by APRIL 17th! I will laminate them and post them on sticks around our circle natural area… then I will send out an email letting you know when you can drive through the church circle (do not leave your cars please) and marvel at our butterfly garden that YOU created! Let’s fill the church yard with beauty and joy as a reminder of being EASTER PEOPLE
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.