Year of Mercy: Mercy and Hope

Mercy and hope unite to create the realization that God sees us differently than others see us–sees us differently than we may even see ourselves.  God sees us as beloved children.

Henri Nouwen made this one of his major emphases, reminding us again and again that God loves us more than we can imagine.  Even for some who are religious this is amazing news, because too much that goes under the name of religion puts a face on God that leaves the impression God is generally mad at us, and can barely put up with us.

But mercy and hope do not stop with revelation, they go on to create what they reveal.  Hope says, “You can be who you are.”  Grace is embedded in hope, working to bring our lives into conformity with the vision.

For some of us, this is living into an understanding others have provided by their words and deeds.  But for others of us, it is having to reject what others have said about us and/or done to us.  Either way, we must engage our wills to the Lord and move in conformity to the Spirit who is at work in us.

Mercy and hope conjoin to create awakening, and having our eyes open, we respond to God and relate to others in the Light of our new creation.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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