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Holy Week Meditations, including "We could use a little mercy now."

posted Mar 31, 2020, 8:57 AM by Tim Isbell
I just published Responsive Prayer Meditations for Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and continues for six more days through the Saturday before Easter Sunday. This time I decided to include one of the four Holy Week meditations with this notification. I wrote this one a year ago, but given our current coronavirus pandemic, it is even more appropriate today.

Could use a little mercy now

Holy Week - PYS Holy Week, ch 3, John 11.33-44

Humans are capable of feeling deep compassion, meaning we can share with and share in the suffering of another person. I don’t think we develop this capacity on our own; I think it comes from being created in your (God) image.

Steve Bell points out that compassion robs suffering of the power to isolate. He explains how this is separate from fixing or altering a situation. So in your (Jesus) passion at the cross, you come alongside us, share our vulnerability, and absorb the evil of our sin.

While compassion is separate from action, it often leads to action. After you wept over Mary and Martha’s response to Lazarus’ death, you raised him back to life. At the cross, you passively remained in the hands of your father, who took action to resurrect you to new life.

Still, in our lives, we find ourselves in situations where we feel compassion but don’t have the power to help. Remaining present in the suffering of another is challenging.

Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now” touches my heart. The first verse starts with, “My father could use a little mercy now…” The second begins with, “My mother could use a little mercy now...” The third starts with, “My church and my country...” And the last two verses begin with, “Every living thing... “ Those first two verses touch me because I lost my parents over the past four years, and my wife lost her remaining parent. The rest of the verses continue to weigh on me. The whole song is about situations that we can do little about, except be present.

After several times of listening to this song, I remembered that your heart is more compassionate than mine and that you do have the power to act. Thank you for your solidarity with me, with all of us. I will continue to trust in your compassion and power for acts of mercy.

(Readers: I hope you will listen to Mary Gauthier’s song “Mercy Now.” You can find it at Pilgrim Year Songs, then click on the Holy Week album. then go to Chapter 3 and click on “Mercy Now.”)

For an overview of the entire meditation project, which includes links to access all previously published meditations, click on Responsive Prayer Meditations