“…For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ said also, ‘Do not kill.’ If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως).” (James 2: 10-13)

The word “ἔλεος,” translated into English as “mercy,” means a lot more than just “a withholding of punishment.” It is the overflowing of God’s goodness upon us and the whole world; it’s His way of being and doing in our world, and of sharing Himself with us. Mercy is an un-written “law” of the way God is, in the freedom of His Spirit, which is beyond words, and “above” the written Law of God, as its ultimate purpose. Mercy is the “law” of liberty, which we can also embrace and subject ourselves to, in communion with God. It’s often liberating and simpler, to let go of these or those demands and expectations of others, and just let God “have mercy”; to let Him have it His way, that is. It’s also easier to see and communicate to others, how we’d like to move forward, when God’s mercy has swept anger and frustration out of our hearts.

Today let me be a vessel of God’s mercy in this world, passing it on to others, as my own way of being and doing with others. Lord, have it Your way today, in the small or large annoyances that might pop up in my day. Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace!

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