Last Sunday I preached about justice. This Sunday I will preach about the second item on Micah’s list: “Love mercifully.” God knows we need mercy now that the House of Representatives is trying to take healthcare away from the poorest; now that we have an attorney general who is unlikely to fight for the oppressed; and now that the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency has an agenda that does not include protecting the environment.
Requiring mercy of us is God requiring us to be God-like. Hopefully that speaks of how confident God is in our ability to exceed the limits of our self-absorption. I’ll admit that God is more optimistic about me than I am. What about you? Do you believe in your capacity to be more God-like in your mercy?
“God is love,” the Bible says. Mercy is how love acts. The question is, how do we learn to live mercifully as relentlessly and unconditionally as God? While I am not certain how we learn this, the one thing of which I am certain is that to love mercifully like God requires practice. The Bible asks us to practice on the weak, the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. That would be a good way for all of us to begin.
Rev. Michael Piazza