May Mercy Win

We don’t hear about it much and it is my fault.  We don’t hear about it because I don’t talk about it.  It isn’t that I don’t want to, I simply forget the power and the call to action in these words.  I forget that as much as John Wesley was for personal holiness he was also for social holiness.  Prayer and study were important but so was visiting the sick and prisoners.

Alton Sterling died this week.  Philando Castile died this week.  Video captured this horrific moments and my heart hurts.  Three police officers are now dealing with the mental and emotional aftermath of taking another person’s life.  My heart hurts.  My hearts breaks.

John 11:35 happened again…”Jesus wept.”

As I prepare my sermon on this week’s lectionary text, Luke 10:25-37, or better known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I hear the cries of the man on the road.  I hear the cry of someone stranded, beaten, broken and left for dead.  I hear the man…

Who am I on that road?  Am I the Levite?  Am I the priest?  Am I the one who stops?

Just like the taillight on Philando’s car, our system is broken.  When a system is broken justice must prevail and people need to speak up to share the news of the one who says mercy wins.

This week my congregation and I will say together the Social Creed of the United Methodist Church found in ¶166 of the Book of Discipline. I truly believe this world needs personal holiness.  We personally need to know the love and grace God offers in Jesus Christ.  I also truly believe we need social holiness.  We, as the Body of Christ in this world, need to stand up and proclaim a way of living that follows the life, death and resurrection of the Savior we worship and follow.

When my heart breaks I am reminded it does so because I am attempting to “love my neighbor as myself.”  May mercy win in my heart and in my world.

Social Creed of the United Methodist Church

We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.

We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.

We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.

We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.

We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.

We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.

We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen.

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