The Beatitude Series (5)

THE BEATITUDE SERIES

CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS

January 10, 2021

­­­Verse of the week: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

Look: This image is from Hyatt Moore

Coloring for the Children:

Listen:

Here is a song by Matt Redman, titled Mercy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuxzcJps6eo

I will kneel in the dust

At the foot of the cross,

Where mercy paid for me.

Where the wrath I deserve,

It is gone, it has passed.

Your blood has hidden me.

Mercy, mercy,

As endless as the sea.

I’ll sing Your hallelujah

For all eternity.

We will lift up the cup

And the bread we will break,

Remembering Your love.

We were fallen from grace,

But You took on our shame

And nailed it to a cross.

Mercy, mercy,

As endless as the sea.

I’ll sing Your hallelujah

For all eternity.

Mercy, mercy,

As endless as the sea.

I’ll sing Your hallelujah

For all eternity.

May I never lose the wonder,

Oh, the wonder of Your mercy.

May I sing Your hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Amen.

May I never lose the wonder,

Oh, the wonder of Your mercy.

May I sing Your hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Amen.

May I never lose…

Think and Engage:

This week the verse is “blessed are those who merciful, for they will be shown mercy” and the contribution is written by the Venerable Terry Lamb.

Mercy

Our culture is no longer a wisdom culture; wisdom isn’t past down from generation to generation. Not so in the ancient culture, wisdom was easy to find, it was wrapped up in gray hair and wore wrinkles as a disguise. If you think about the book of first John for a moment one realizes that the oldest disciple alive is writing to his beloved churches. He pens nothing new but highlights what he has seen and heard and touched with his very own hands. A true apostle, likely in his final days of life on earth passes the torch to the next generation of hesitant but hungry followers. His command isn’t a new one but a rehearsal of the original one. “Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Simple right? Easy deduction fleshes this out from the passage, our one and only vocation is to love. If that is so then, the action of love is mercy and mercies closest cousin is compassion. The extension of love has always been through the hands and feet of individuals moved by compassion! The moment we do love out of duty, it is calculated and lives on the edges of legalism. Mercy takes us beyond the borders of our own fears and reluctance to a world reserved to the courageous. If you want to be merciful act in love and pray for courage.

Currency

Applied mercy is like a window you jump through. It is only open for a moment and then it shuts. If you practice it enough, you become seasoned at seeing the window in advance instead of just about missing the opportunity before it passes. John Wimber the founder of the Vineyard Movement said that mercy is the currency of the Kingdom of God. It is how the whole thing operates. We see this in Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brother (and sisters), in view of God’s Mercy. The “therefore” in Romans 12 is preceded by the great biblical Doxology (Glory) verses. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever”. We are attached to this glory by a merciful invitation – come and find life in my one and only Son. Now having found new life in the Son we are partakers in his Glory. The only way to respond is to offer one’s self back or up to God. So, it is a circular currency – God gives life to men and women – and men and women become the hands and feet of God. Let me give you an example: My sister has been in ICU in Calgary living between life and death for days because of a strange infection. (non-Covid-19 related) I phone ICU every day for check-ups, because visitors are not allowed into the hospital due to COVID-19 protocols. One particular morning I phoned for an update and Jeremy the nurse said I could come for a visit as my sister had made a remarkable recovery in the last 8hours. Stunted I jumped in the car and drove to the hospital. ICU had rung down to the front deck informing them of my arrival. I passed the COVID-19 screening and walked on to ICU, room 16 where my sister lies with tubes and bags hung from her like a Christmas tree. I walked in and spoke her name “Karen” her response back was “I’m looking at the face of God”! I know and you know she is not, however she is looking at an image bearer of God, and that is what every act of love translated in to mercy brings…his image present in the here and now. One might be inclined to say it was just a visit. I would respond it is in those “justs” opportunity where mercy is found. It isn’t difficult to have the courage to seize the opportunities when they arise. It is His image that transforms us and the folks around us. I have never been changed by an opinion, I have been changed by His image in people as you have.

Blessed are the Merciful

It needs to be said that of the eight beatitudes it isn’t a smorgasbord pick the one best suited to your personality. Rather it is grow into all of them as your goal and journey through life. You don’t put on the beatitudes you live into them transformationally speaking. “Blessed is” is better translated, now that you have become and image bearer you can now live more fully into…Mercy. As you reach out in mercy – God will reach through you. It is the altitude of the Joyous!

Questions to consider:

What does it feel like to be loved by Christ?

What does it feel like to know this love, and to love others?

Have you experienced Christ’s mercy?

What did this experience feel like?

Spiritual Practices:

Individual Practice:

Spend some time in silence and think and pray, or journal about these following questions:

  1. What does God’s love feel like?
  2. In what ways have you experienced mercy?
  3. Where can you be attentive to moments where the window of mercy is open?

Community Practice:

This is a tough season for many people. The community practice is to communicate our sincere love for those around us. This isn’t something to be done out of obligation, leading to legalism, but out of genuine love for those around us. You could:

  • Call a loved one
  • Text a loved one
  • Write a letter to a love one

Think intentionally about love, and how to communicate this to the world around you!