Friday, September 22, 2017

We Cry Out: "Lord, Have Mercy!"

   The recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and global politics have struck at our hearts and causing many to cry out “Lord, have mercy!”  Of the portions of the Church’s liturgy that are ancient, perhaps none is more treasured and prevalent than the Kyrie Eleison – “Lord, have mercy!”  This cry resounds throughout the Holy Scriptures and remains one of the most natural and human prayers. 
   WHY?  Because of our tenuous status in this creation.
We find ourselves vulnerable and under attack from the elements, from one another, from disease, from calamities and trials.  In times of trouble we are suddenly awakened to the fact that we are living under the Almighty power of God and are undeserving of His goodness and care.  Stripped away are the myths of our self-sufficiency and control over our own lives.  Left grieving and empty-handed we have nothing left but to turn our eyes to our Creator and cry out for mercy . . .
   Jesus heard the cries of lepers, blind men, and a mother whose daughter was possessed by a demon.  With compassion, Jesus turned His eyes to their situation and brought healing, sight, and restoration.  This same Jesus hears our cries for mercy today.  His eyes are turned toward us with compassion and love.  He beholds the plight of His people and responds.  Every. Time.
   But our eyes are often veiled and cannot see His response.  To some of us He brings us deliverance from our troubles - this is visible and celebrated.  To others of us He gives strength and peace to endure the hardship - this is REAL, but often invisible.  It is faith and trust in the God of love and compassion that assures us that the Lord indeed hears our cries for mercy and acts on our behalf.  
   When you feel tempted to doubt whether the Lord your God hears your cries or cares to deliver you, remember the cross of Jesus Christ.  For throughout human history there has never been a more crystal clear demonstration of God's mercy.  Generations, weighed down by their sins and disobedience, had cried out for mercy.  On that great and dark day Jesus died sin was paid for and debt cancelled.  Through His very own body Jesus opened a way into the presence of the Father.  And when Christ arose on the third day, mercy was put on display for all creation to behold.

With hurting hearts and trusting faith we will continue to cry out:
"Lord, have mercy;
Christ, have mercy;
Lord, have mercy"

A few points to ponder:

  • When do YOU cry out for mercy?
  • Have you ever seen a child of God show peace, comfort, and/or joy in the midst of trouble?  How are these the compassionate response of the Lord to the cry for mercy?