Be Still Know
Acts 4:18-19 NLT
So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?’
Our theme for the Premier Novena 2016 is ‘Mercy’. Catholics will be familiar with this since Pope Francis has called for 2016 to be a year of Mercy.
Mercy is an expression of God’s love, which forgives and accepts us when we repent, despite our sinfulness. Every person stands in need of mercy for we have all sinned and failed to live as God designed us to live.
When my first wife Katey lost her ability to walk following a serious infection, we needed to move house because we didn’t have a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom. But moving house takes time and we had an immediate need. Dear friends stepped in and provided bridging finance with no interest so we could quickly move into an accessible home. This was an act of mercy. Our friends did something which we were completely unable to do for ourselves. This was an act of grace where we were the beneficiaries of another’s generous and selfless action.
Each of us who has responded to Jesus recognises that salvation is always the gift of God. We cannot manufacture it for ourselves. Yet, it comes with certain conditions. We have to recognise both our need and our inability to meet that need for ourselves. Once we do and we turn to God, then we experience God’s grace. It is perhaps the most difficult gift, for we are wired to earn respect and the kindness of others through the work we do.
Mercy acts in response to need without question.
QUESTION: How could you be good news to someone today? A smile, a listening ear, an act of mercy?
PRAYER: Gracious God, I thank you for your mercy that accepts me just as I am. Please guide me to the place where I live out your message of mercy in serving someone in need today. I pray this for the glory of your name.