Lindsey Summer Reynolds
When we hear the Beatitudes, it can be easy to recognize ourselves among one or more of the blessed. Whether you’re feeling poor in spirit, mourning, or hungering for righteousness, these words apply to all of us at different stages in our lives.
There is one, though, that can inspire us any time, and that is Matthew 5:7: Blessed are the Merciful. I like this one (as someone who is never meek, rarely persecuted, and usually finds “pure of heart” to be particularly difficult) because being merciful is a choice that we can make every day, and showing mercy is a integral steppingstone to the more difficult acts of Forgiveness. Christ calls us to forgive, but even devout Christians sometimes encounter people or situations where we aren’t ready to, or don’t know if we can forgive.
Being honest with ourselves in these situations is especially painful because we have to face our own capacity to harbor so much anger, fear, and pain as to make Forgiveness feel impossible. The great thing about mercy is it is never impossible. We can always decide to be merciful, with small acts or kind words. It is a blessing to be merciful because it has the power to bring us closer to Forgiveness.
Friends and members of our Christ Church family have prepared these daily reflections as a means for you to consider how forgiveness informs your faith walk during this holy season. They are a richly diverse group from many different geographies around our nation and globe, formed by a wide variety of traditions.