FRIDAY, MARCH 25TH
A TIME OF BLESSING
Our Friday time of blessing with Jesus holds more treasures for us. Today, Jesus shares another gift from the Beatitudes, one that asks us to bless but also promises to bless us:
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7, NRSV)
Sit with this blessing for a few minutes. Can you recall a time when you were shown mercy? Was there a time when you were merciful toward someone? What blessings resulted?
If I consider this blessing from Jesus for very long, his words can become confusing. For, if mercy is showing unconditional kindness, compassion, or forgiveness – even to the undeserving – God’s mercy then comes to us without our merit. We receive mercy even when we are not the merciful. So why does Jesus say these words?
I found one answer in my Greek/English Interlinear New Testament; according to this book, the verse is actually translated, “…for they will be shown mercy.” As we increasingly share the mercy we have received from God, our awareness of the mercies coming back to us will increase as well. When we live and share in merciful ways, our attention to mercy will reveal it more and more. Our attention to mercy will reveal more of the times mercy is shared as well as the times mercy is received – from God and from one another. We find what we seek!
Today I am sharing an excerpt from A Beautiful Offering, by Angela Thomas. She describes the blessing of mercy very well:
The gift that God calls pleasing is your mercy toward the ones you haven’t chosen and the ones who make decisions you’d never choose. They can be fallen, struggling, disappointing, or downright embarrassing. Maybe they are people you love or a stranger who rear-ended you in the parking lot. However people come into your life, I can assure you that they are seen and known by God. God calls it beautiful when you give to anyone the mercy God has freely extended to you.
When your soul is being perfected by the presence of Mercy, then judgment begins to fade, the made-up rules don’t matter so much anymore, and what everyone might think becomes ridiculous… Life gets messy when you begin to give out mercy, but when you’re giving out mercy, you don’t care about the mess anymore…
Give on, because blessed are the merciful… you will always receive much more than you have been given.1
Amen. May it be so.
1Thomas, Angela. (2004) A Beautiful Offering. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.