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Advent #2: Sharing Mercy With Others

As we continue our Advent journey to Bethlehem, and the promised “peace on Earth” of which the angels sing, it might be helpful to consider the 3- part recipe for peace suggested by the prophet Micah. First- we need to “do justly,” then add a “love of mercy,” and finish it all by “walking humbly with God” (Micah 6.8).

To do justly means that we should speak truthfully, expect only what we deserve, and certainly treat others equitably and as they deserve to be treated. To love mercy means seeking to be good and kind to others, even when they don’t deserve our goodness and kindness; it invites us to be lenient, instead of simply “going by the book.” And finally, to walk humbly with God means to be submissive and accept who we are and who God calls us to be.

Micah realizes that the trouble in the garden wasn’t just a failure to follow the rules, but a desire to be greater than we have been created to be. Instead of fulfilling God’s plan for His creation, we sometimes think we should be calling the shots. And when that happens, peace is an impossible dream.

Luckily for us, Jesus loves mercy, and was even willing to humble himself so far as to be treated unkindly and unmercifully for our sakes. As we move towards Christmas, perhaps we should slow down long enough to consider how we might imitate his actions this sacred season. Imagine the gift, of that peace that passes all understanding, we could begin to share with others, even as we embrace it for ourselves. Pass it on.


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