Friday, May 22, 2009

Heb. 4:15-5:6

Isn’t it wonderful to meet someone who knows EXACTLY what you are thinking or feeling? Maybe they know the places you loved as a child. Maybe they too worry about an aging parent and it feels so comforting to share fellowship, either in the church parish hall or even long distance over the phone.

As in Wednesday’s reading, this passage deals with prayer. Here the author of Hebrews is saying, when we kneel in prayer we can know that Christ knows EXACTLY how we are feeling, whether the heaviness of discouragement or the relief that we are safe. We can approach God with the confidence that He knows how we feel. We can find mercy.

Next the passage mentions our human leaders. The best leaders “deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, “ since these human leaders know their own weaknesses. All week this passage has run through my mind; “deal gently. Deal gently.” All of us at some time find ourselves in the place of leadership in that others depend on us. Deal gently. Leaders know to deal gently since they are reminded of their own failings, and in remembering they are to have mercy for others.

What struck me, then, was the gift of mercy. We receive it from Christ since He can identify with our temptations. We give mercy to others, since we know our own failings. Today may we thank God for His mercy to us, and pass it on to those who need us.

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