December 10 Thursday Mercy
My initial understanding of the word mercy began at about the age of 7. I was taught a very simple meaning of the word through a game my older brother, Jeremy, decided to play with me… a game, appropriately called “Mercy!” Here’s how it was played: I would “borrow” a GI Joe that Jeremy happened to be playing with at the time and would start to run around the house with it. He would proceed to chase and catch me, and when I’d refuse to loosen my grip on his beloved toy, he would twist my arm behind my back just enough to make me squeal, and the game would not end until I cried “Mercy!” and gave his toy back to him. This was the time at which I learned that, by saying the word mercy, my brother would grant me freedom from his grasp.
Now, since then, my thoughts on this small word have become a bit more complex, but when I really think about the meaning of the word mercy, my childhood understanding is really not too far-fetched. If you think about it, when we cry for mercy, whether it be for ourselves or for those we love in our community, or whether it be on a larger scale, we are simply asking for relief, for deliverance from a state of helplessness. During the season of Advent, this is our plea. We are waiting in darkness, straining our eyes to see that glimmer of hope in the arrival of Christ. We pray that God will soon offer relief for our weary souls. During Advent, in order to see the hope that is on the horizon, we loosen the grip of our own control and cry out to God…
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy on us. Amen.