Holy Week is the most momentous time of the year for Christians. The faithful somberly recall the events leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross. By now, we know them by heart—the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Judas’s betrayal, the Last Supper, Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, death, and burial. It is all so poignantly familiar to those of us who have been Christ followers for a while. But if anything about Holy Week can stop us in our tracks and capture our hearts anew, it is the mercy of it. When we pause to ponder Jesus’ death on the cross, we become aware of a mercy so wide that it boggles our minds. Mercy happens when we are shown compassion we do not earn or deserve. When Jesus gives his life on the cross in our place, to atone for our own sin—that is simply mercy writ large.

As the English hymn writer Frederick Faber observed, “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea” (umh, no. 121). In our scripture reading today, we see that God’s mercy is so wide that it includes all people—Jews and Gentiles, saints and sinners, influential people and nobodies. This is good news. God provides for the needs of all people all over the world. Not only do humans receive mercy; God’s providential care extends to animals too. God provides for all living things on the earth—people, wild beasts, fish, birds, bugs.

Because of God’s mercy, nothing gets lost, and no one falls through the cracks. In a world that in so many ways tries to tell us that we don’t matter, don’t measure up, and are not “essential,” God begs to differ. In God’s merciful acts for all creation, every living creature is provided for, loved, and treasured.

We thank you, loving God, as we recognize just how wide is your mercy and how deep is your care for all your creation. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 13:1-17, 31-35

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Leccionario Semanal
April 6–12, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

Although we anticipate the celebration of Easter, this week’s readings remind us to slow down and walk through the suffering of Jesus. If we fail to understand why he has to die, then we fail to grasp fully the power of his resurrection. Monday’s passage in Isaiah anticipates the Messiah, the Anointed One, coming to bring justice to the nations. Tuesday’s Psalm laments that sometimes the righteous are met with scorn. The Hebrews passage for Wednesday declares that Christ knows of the suffering that awaits him, yet he endures it because of the joy to come. On Thursday, the reading in John shows us that even when facing death, Jesus continues to model selfless love. Friday brings pain and rejection, but Sunday is the greatest day in human history. He is risen indeed!

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read John 13:1-7, 31b-35. Consider someone who has disappointed, hurt, or betrayed you whom God might be calling you to love. How could a posture of service help you act in a loving way even if you cannot feel affection for this person?
Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. How does this description of a suffering servant help you more fully understand Jesus’ suffering on the cross?
Read Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24. When has grief felt like mercy? When has noticing you are alive felt like a miracle?
Read Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24. Recall a time you forgot how to sing God’s praises despite the joy around you. How did God provide the song?

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