Andrew Gates - August 22, 2021
From Series: "Expansive Mercy"
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6) These words, spoken by the prophet Hosea and echoed by Jesus (Matthew 9:13 & 12:7), remind God’s people that no matter how inspiring or excellent our worship celebrations, God’s greater priority for us is that we extend mercy to those around us. He’s given us indescribable mercy, after all! For the next several Sundays, we will focus on the theme of mercy in Jesus’ interactions. In a religious culture where such mercy was only acceptable within a tight boundary, we see all over the gospels that Jesus goes out to the forgotten places at the margins with his truly expansive mercy. We will see this expansive mercy at work in the way Jesus approaches Sabbath breakers, tax collectors, and sinners. We will see it in his ministry of healing. We will see it in how he honors the presence and dignity of women and children. In the coming weeks, may Christ’s Spirit teach us to receive mercy in our brokenness, and extend it to others with genuine love and compassion. May we in new ways encounter the wild and expansive mercy of Christ, and may it break out among and all around us.