By Brooke Holt
The Collect: “O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” Collect for the 2nd Sunday in Lent, Book of Common Prayer
What do you think of when you hear the word glory? Holiness, power, sovereignty, majesty, perfect wisdom? These words come to my mind. I also recall Isaiah’s response to beholding the throne room of God: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (see Isaiah 6:1-7 for context, verses 5-7 cited) God’s glory led Isaiah to see his sin.
The Collect today professes when God shows mercy, he demonstrates his glory. Glory in mercy -- what does this mean? From my limited understanding, God’s glory is so expansive and full, he displays it in a myriad of ways. Mercy is one of those ways. Where we deserve judgement and consequences for our sin, God brings mercy, forgiveness, and a clean slate. What good news for me and you! A perfect and holy God has chosen to extend mercy to us, his imperfect people.
As we enter this second week of Lent, it offers the ideal time to consider how you respond to God’s mercy? Does his mercy change you? Does his mercy create in you a desire to love him more and to follow him wholeheartedly? Does his mercy lead you to penitence and a deep longing to live in obedience to the Lord?
Today’s prayer asks that the Lord’s mercy would stir his people to have penitent hearts and steadfast faith, that we would cling to the unchangeable truth of God’s word. The mercy of the Lord transforms those who truly receive it. His mercy makes the way for you and me to each confess our sins and to seek the Holy Spirit’s help to love the Lord and to follow in his ways.
The Lord knows each of us goes astray, and his nature is always to show mercy. Receive that mercy today and be transformed by it through repentance and changing your life. Through receiving the mercy of the Lord and allowing his transformative work in your life, he is glorified in you and through you.
How do you see God’s mercy poured out into your life? Spend some time marveling at God’s abundant mercy and asking him to help you receive it and to be changed by it. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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