“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Reference: Luke 6:36 )
I am currently writing in duality – that is, writing for the current time (plus a few days) and also writing ahead for when I am gone in May. And because I believe truly that God is in the details and in all things, I am struck by the contrast of the two themes I am writing on. In “real time” (or as close to it as I am) I am writing about persecution and that it often is the cost of belief and faithful discipleship. But I am also writing for the time ahead (what you are reading now) and the theme is “Mercy.” And my thought is, how do I hold the two together? How can I write on mercy when the historic Anabaptists received little? And how can I right on persecution when mercy is also my focus?
The excerpt from the historic Anabaptist writings (by the way beloved, did you know that much of these excerpts come from The Martyr’s Mirror which is a collection of historic Anabaptist writings that were collected and passed through the generations; it makes interesting reading) that goes with this verse was written by Soetgen van den
Houte (d. 1560) and was written to her children. She told them“Be diligent in prayer, and love the poor; for Christ also was poor for our sakes. 2 Cor. 8:9. Be therefore also merciful, even as your heavenly Father is merciful; for such shall be blessed, and shall obtain mercy. Also learn to be meek and lowly in heart; for such are blessed and shall inherit the earth. Luke 6:36; Matt. 5:5. And blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” If you would look back to the section on “Persecution” you would see that the same sort of admonitions and exhortations are given under that theme. And one would be tempted to ask, “Just what is it with those historic Anabaptists?” They/we are a strange lot, constantly directing our listens to God and more perfect devotion. We were persecuted, but advocated mercy. Much of Anabaptist faith can be seen as a paradox. But we also consider the “Kingdom of God” to be upside down in comparison to current society. Or maybe it is current society that is wrong way up.
May you beloved show mercy to all whom you encounter, and may God’s mercy be with you. Selah!