Listening to Lent — Mercy to the Lost


kyrie eleison, have mercy,
christe eleison, have mercy.

as we come before you with the needs of our world,
we confess our failures and our sin;
for our words are many yet our deeds have been few,
fan the fire of compassion once again.

when the cries of victims go unheard in the land,
and the scars of war refuse to heal,
will we stand for justice to empower the weak
till their bonds of oppression are no more?

if we love our God with all our heart, mind and strength,
and we love our neighbors as ourselves,
then this law of love will heal the nations of earth
and the glory of Christ will be revealed.

Lord, renew our vision to be Christ where we live,
to reach out in mercy to the lost;
for each cup of kindness to the least in our midst
is an offering of worship to the throne.
~Stuart Townend

And are we not all alike, all lost?
Wandering? Weeping? Wretched?
It is when we know mercy
that we become mercy,
loving where others show hate
giving where others take away
building up where others tear down.
We can be Christ where we live
because He renews in us
a new life in Him.

One thought on “Listening to Lent — Mercy to the Lost

  1. Perfect, dear Emily. You have stated in practical, doable terms exactly what needs to be done to mirror Christ’s Mercy and Love to our shattered world.

    After catching up on the mostly dismal world news every day, I am struck by uncertainty: When and how will this madness cease? What can be done to change the plight of the poor and the suffering — the ‘have nots’ — those totally without the very basic means to exist and to survive in dignity that most of us enjoy and take for granted?
    I am only one person. I am not a legislator or a paid lobbyist; I am not wealthy; I am not a persuasive orator. What can I
    do to make a difference, to make a small dent in the body of this human suffering that is growing larger and more
    desperate each day?

    You have answered me by your Comments today, Emily — in one short paragraph. (Here, I am paraphrasing your words.)
    You remind us that by showing mercy, love, and giving toward our brothers and sisters we can become that answer. We can – we must – be the [visible] Christ right where we live — right now!

    If we truly believe that we are Christians, followers of Christ and believers in the New Testament teachings, we do not have a choice. If not, then we are living our lives as hypocrits. It is a given that we cannot do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. We need to pray to the Sprit for guidance as we step out in faith, to give us sight to see those who need our help, to give us the courage and the words to speak on behalf of those who are powerless to help themselves.

    We do not need ornate prayers or theological interpretations written by others to do this. We can simply speak to the Spirit within us as we would to an intimate trusted friend. The Psalms, written in plain words by ordinary people three thousand years ago, are a wonderful resource that remind us that human suffering caused by hatred, greed and indifference are not new to human nature.


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