At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. – Titus 3:3-5
Yesterday, reading one more disturbing story from the week’s news, a song came to mind that my friend Bruce McVey shared with me some months ago.
It’s called “Mercy Now,” written years ago by folk artist Mary Gauthier. The words feel so on point for today that I had to find the chords, grab my guitar, and connect with the soul of it.
There’s reading the words, there’s listening, there’s letting something wash over you, and then there is literally entering into a song… For me, playing and singing helps me to experience the meaning at another level.
So I thought I’d share my version with you (with apologies to Mary Gauthier for my raw, unpracticed interpretation).
It’s the idea of mercy that really interests me today. Mercy is about allowing grace and forgiveness to flow into you, flow through you, and enter into someone else’s life.
We need mercy today as a nation. And we need mercy as individuals too. Because it is our collective ministry of grace and reconciliation – implemented person-to-person – that is required for healing.
In fact, this is how we should be praying:
- “Lord God, please show me what it means to experience mercy in my own broken soul.”
- “Lord, I confess that I need some mercy now, and I need to offer mercy to my community.”
- “Lord, what can I do to be a more effective instrument of your peace?”
- “Lord, whose life can I touch with grace?”
- “Lord, let mercy flow through me and into my neighbor… my community… my political opponent… my enemy.”
The Bible tells us that we experience salvation not because of the righteous things we have done, not because we deserve it, but because of God’s great mercy.
So let’s stop believing ourselves to be more deserving than others; instead, let’s get on our knees together and be grateful – together – for God’s mercy.
Grace received, grace extended. – DEREK