Thoughts from the Pew: Lord, Have Mercy

It happens towards the end of the service every Sunday. After the hymns, the sermon, but before we file forward to accept the body, the blood on our tongues, we say the prayers of the people.

The exact words vary, as does the person leading us in the prayers, but one thing remains the same every week.

Lord, have mercy.

It is our refrain. We say it after we pray for the sick and the lost.

Lord, have mercy.

We say it after we ask for favor and forgiveness.

Lord, have mercy.

We say it on the Sundays that brokenness weighs us down and on the ones praise pulls our hands towards the ceiling.

Lord, have mercy.

I find an incredible amount of peace in the broken record refrain each Sunday. I need to repeat those words. Need to hear them spoken by the dozens of people crowded around me.

Because so often, it’s hard to find mercy. To give mercy.

It’s hard for me to have mercy with the co-worker who makes me feel taken advantage of and dejected. The friend who unintentionally lets me down.

But maybe it’s hard for me to give mercy to others because I so rarely give it to myself. How often am I compassionate, forgiving towards myself?

If mercy flowed in, would it also flow out?

When I grow frustrated at my lack of discipline. Mercy.

When I feel I am failing as a friend, employee, girlfriend. Mercy.

When I fall short in small ways every single day Mercy.

This Sunday, I will stand as always during the prayers of the people.

I will close my eyes.

I will let my arms hang loosely by my side.

My hands open, receiving.

And I will pray to be filled with mercy for God’s children. Including myself.

Hear us Lord.

For your mercy is great.

Mercy-2

 

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