Monday, May 11, 2015

What is Mercy?

“Mercy is the ability to see through and beyond that which appears, to that which is eternal and never changes.”
~ Michele Longo O’Donnell

According to the dictionary mercy is a form of compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.

In her book “The God That We’ve Created” Michele Longo says that mercy is not compassion; compassion is compassion; mercy is not forgiveness; forgiveness is forgiveness.  She builds her insight on the words of James:

“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
~ James 2:13

She says that mercy is from a higher atmosphere of thought.  Mercy excels over judgement.  It is more desired than judgement.  Mercy is the judgement of God.  God sees all his creation, especially his children, with mercy.  When mercy touches our hearts … we are changed forever.  We see ourselves as new creatures, we can change our lives and can even be healed.

Because God sees us as we truly are: our core true, innocent nature, we are governed by his love and truth.  Traditional teachings tell us that God judges us according to our sins.  That would make us fear God because judgement is governed by fear.  Michele suggests that we are governed by mercy with love and truth.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Lift Your Face toward the Sun

During this past Sunday Service pastor Mike used the phrase: “Lift your face toward the sun rather than looking down to the ground.”  This is not to get a nice sun tan or to appear arrogant.  He used it to encourage us to have a positive attitude and to be optimistic.  He also referred to Matthew 5:44-45:

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Jesus here talked about how God being unbiased, sends the sun and the rain on all of us equally.  We don’t have to qualify with our behavior.  I found some other quotes which support this understanding.  Why not get the sun when it is so abundantly available?

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”
~ Helen Keller

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
~ Psalm 84:11

“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.”
~ Maori Proverb

 May the road rise to meet you.
 May the wind be always at your back.
 May the sun shine warm upon your face.
 And rains fall soft upon your fields.
 And until we meet again,
 May God hold you in the hollow of His hand… .

Turn your face to the sun.
There is goodness in the world that even the river of tears cannot erase.
~ Maithri Goonetilleke 

May experience many moments this week where you can turn your face to the sun both literally and symbolically.  May you always be aware of the choices we have: look up or look down.