Posted by: forfreedomalone | 13/06/2011

Mercy me.

They were talking about a debate which took place in the Houses of Parliament in 1940; he said that Chamberlin had taken a certain line on some point and she asked him “Chamberlin, you mean Churchill, don’t you?” “That’s what I said” he replied and you could just feel the whole thing sliding off into the ditch they call trouble.

He didn’t say Churchill, he said Chamberlin; but what does it matter? Well, it matters if you want to follow the argument. it matters if you want to be accurate and it matters if you want to understand the loving kindness of others. He said, “no I didn’t”; she said, “yes, you did”; back and forth until the issue was now who was right and no longer which politician held which view all those many years ago.
He was going to sacrifice her on the alter of “Right”. He was sure he was right and he was not going to be told otherwise. Pride consumed humility and as a result she had no chance to show him mercy. The lovingkindness of overlooking an error, slip or mistake. He cut himself off from her mercy by his pride.

Mercy cannot be shown to someone who had no need of mercy. One who is never wrong, who never slips, slides or tumbles does not need a hand to steady himself. So the one who is willing to be the steader has no way of showing their caring, their love, their kindness.

So it is with God. He does not require sacrifice, he wants mercy. He wants to reach out and steady us with his strength when we are on icy ground, but if we will not admit we need his help we cannot have it; not because he will withhold it, but because we will not take hold of it. Then we want his grace; his ability to do in and through us what we cannot do for ourselves; but how can we access that when we have not accessed his mercy; his lovingkindness? If his mercies are new every day there must be a need, daily, for new mercy. The mercy we obtained yesterday is of no use today, we need new mercy. Why? We need new mercy today so that today we humble ourselves and ask for help, then we are open to his grace. We cannot have grace without mercy and we cannot have mercy without acknowledging that we are in a position of need in the first place.

Life is a slippery business and daily we are in need of his ability, but daily we need to return to the mercy seat and remind ourselves that we are in need of his mercy to access his grace.

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