What would you do to save your children from slavery?
This week I was away at a Scripture conference retreat, and one of the themes was Mercy. Our notion of mercy is often just too thin: “Lord, don’t give me what I deserve. You are a nice guy, be nice to me, please.” It is not just God saying, “that’s ok, I don’t mind.”
In the scriptures, mercy is much, much more. Mercy is covenant faithfulness. A covenant is a blood oath bonding persons in a family relationship. By the blood and water of the cross washing us in baptism, we are made brothers and sisters of the Lord, and sons and daughters of the Father. The oath that the Father has promised us is to rescue us from slavery. If we are taken in slavery, he promises to seek us out, and pay the price of our ransom to the slaveholder to set us free. This is what a redeemer does.
So when we ask for mercy, we are confessing our enslavement to sin, and asking God to remember the promise He made to set us free! We are asking Him to redeem us by His eternal enduring faithful love because we are His blood brothers and sisters. Every invocation of mercy, is a proclamation of suffering, death, and resurrection of Our Lord and a making present of that mystery.
By remembering the price paid, we can value and treasure the gift of Mercy.
What does the Lord do to save His children from slavery?
You know the answer. Live accordingly.