(Photo from here)
So I’ve come back to my erstwhile blog with a few stitchings of thoughts. It’s Advent, and the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the Jubilee Year of Mercy has begun. I wish I could write something brilliant and relevant about all of the above, but I’m afraid I only have what I only ever have when I come to write; a mess of thoughts and only a handful of adequate ways to express them.
But on mercy. I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s mercy, and how it is so much a part of His love. Mercy is what happens when unconditional love is active and creative, as God’s love is. Humanity screws up, time and time again. Simple, straightforward justice would be content to leave us writhing in the miseries of our own making. God is a just God; He will have justice. But His love is such that He will not simply let things be. And so He reaches through, and creates miracles, wondrous things, to save us when we cannot save ourselves.
Mercy is not earned or deserved, if it was it wouldn’t be mercy. Mercy is a gift freely given.
I went on a walk down a path I’ve not explored yesterday. It was the sort of walk that doesn’t feel right to say I enjoyed, even though I did very much. There just seemed to be a lot more to it than that. This post is a ramble in itself, so I have drawn no conclusions, but if that doesn’t bother you then read on!
Those of you reading this blog know that I’m working in an ecumenical Chapel and Chaplaincy. I love what I’m doing here, and have got to know so many people from different traditions; the experience is proving to be enriching and informative as well as enjoyable.
One of the natural consequences of working in this environment is it’s made me a lot more aware of the similarities and differences between different branches of Christianity. There is so much that unites us, and I do prefer to focus on that – when you’re working with people or making friends, this is the starting point after all. The similarities shouldn’t be used to sweep differences under the carpet – different denominations very consciously have different ways of going about things, and to pretend otherwise can only lead to superficial understanding between them. The key is to acknowledge the agreements and disagreements, and to see the importance of trying to work together with them, rather than pretending the situation is other than it is.
Just a few thoughts today.
Earlier I was talking with some people, and the conversation moved away from more general matters and onto the threat of ISIS, and the likelihood of more terrorism and persecution making its way over to the West. You don’t have to know every detail about current affairs to have some idea of the truly dreadful things that have been happening, and, it seems, with more and more frequency. Decapitation. Abduction. Historical vandalism. There is too much to list, and I don’t have the words to do justice to the magnitude of what is happening.