Friday, September 04, 2009

Mercy Triumphs

I have long felt that one reason why most Christians in this society avoid the Hebrew Scriptures like the plague is because they are so focused on the theme of God's merciful justice. We live in a world where the mercy of God's justice simply does not compute. "Mercy triumphs over judging" makes no sense in our world!

You cannot read much of the Bible without running into a passage that throws our selfishness and greed into stark relief, like the lectionary reading from Prov. 22:22-23 does : "Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them." But then you really don't have to look that far to find that this perspective is also central to Jesus' teaching--"the first shall be last and the last first"!

From this perspective, it is obvious that mercy, which is the primary and fundamental principle upon which God's justice and God's kingdom are founded, will eventually win out over all the ways we discriminate and look down on and oppress those we deem "devalued."

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