Year of Mercy: Mercy and Value

The second parable of mercy is Luke 15:8-10, the searching woman.  Interpretations abound, but the one I want to focus on is that whereas the sheep wandered away, the coins were lost through no fault of their own.

Who knows how many people are lost today through no fault of their own?  I am not talking here about inherent sinfulness (which is in us all), but rather about people who have been neglected, abused, marginalized, forgotten, stigmatized, judged, condemned, etc. to such an extent that they feel invisible, valueless, and less than human.

LGBTQIA people are often the ones who are subjected to unhuman attitudes and actions, but the daily news reveals how this mistreatment is inflicted upon others whose gender, ethnicity, nationality, and religious affiliation varies from that of the group which does the discriminating and devaluing.

But…coins have value.  People do too.  God’s mercy goes in search of everyone because everyone is made in the image of God.  A dollar is a dollar whether it is in the bank or behind a couch.  God’s mercy is extended, not in spite of our value but because if it! 

We can only imagine how many people need to know they are persons of sacred worth–period, and with no qualifying statements added.  The merciful God is on the move toward those who have been told they are forgotten and/or have come to believe they are.  This is good news.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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One Response to Year of Mercy: Mercy and Value

  1. Carl says:

    Thanks Steve

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