Yesterday at church, we read and meditated on a very well known passage, Romans 12:1-2
- Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
- Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will
I had hoped to do some sort of modified Lectio Divina, (click here for a brief description), but alas, the clock is ever ticking on Sunday mornings… and 7 times out of 10 (yes, that’s exact science) it’s the worship guy who goes long, not the preacher (at least, that’s true for here at The Grove). So instead, I invited everyone to read the text once, together, out loud. Then I invited us to read it again a second time, in our minds to ourselves, a little slower. And finally I asked that we read it a third time, even slower. And each time I encouraged the attitude of listening and being open to what the words and ideas were trying to say… to listen to a word or phrase that shimmers, that beckons your soul to move closer and lean in. Don’t try and “interpret” the text (like our western/modern minds are so trained to do), but rather let the text read and interpret you. Just soak in it, and be.
The final service of the morning, the third time I walked through this passage, the phrase that drew me in was right at the beginning, “in view of God’s mercy.” And as I let that wash over me, I started thinking about God and his incredible mercy… His willingness to love and accept me for who I am… His desire to see me walk in truth and beauty and love… His attitude of forgiveness towards me… His mercy…
Mercy can be defined as: compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
It is certainly within God’s power to punish or harm me, and the fact that he not only DOESN’T do that, but does the OPPOSITE of that (blesses, encourages, empowers, loves, forgives, satisfies, rewards, etc) is most certainly indicative of the grandest form of mercy.
The text reads, “in VIEW of God’s mercy,” and I got to thinking about “what am I doing, as a follower of Christ, as a response to, or in the light of, the mercy shown towards me by my Great King?” Or, to put it differently, “shouldn’t the great mercy of our God MOVE me towards doing SOMETHING as a response?”
Of course, in this text, Paul gives some direction on something we can and ought do, in VIEW of his mercy, “present ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…” but God’s mercy is so grand, so incredible, so unfathomable, that surely the list of “responses” could be endless….
So what, I ask you, are you doing TODAY in VIEW of God’s mercy?
How are you responding, living, acting in the light of the mercy given to you by our Great King?
(For further reading on the topic of Lectio Divina, might I recommend:)