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Mercy is a form of love that covers both sides of every issue. 

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

We don’t see a whole lot of mercy or humility in America right now. And because of the way our media distorts absolutely everything we read and hear, it’s nearly impossible to make an accurate determination about what is true or just.

Every single person I know has a fundamental desire to do and be good. Some are better at it than others, to be sure, but I maintain that they all share the same instinct if not the same world view.

The United States of America was formed by a people who were committed to the common good of a free republic. Grappling with social issues and contending for justice is the life blood of our society. Like a body that defends itself from infection we are a people who rise up to defeat those things we see as a threat to the health and freedom of the Many as much as the One. This is the foundation upon which our nation has stood for 238 years.

From things which are benign to things that malign we choose our position for or against. We have visceral reactions to things that seem unjust to us. We are tempted to believe this is because we have a superbly developed intellect. We are tempted to believe it’s because we have a superior view of ethics or morality than do those who oppose us. These thoughts come from a decidedly less noble part of the human psyche. The part that esteems the Me more than the We.

Living unto ourselves would be fine if we all stood on a level playing field. Most of us agree that it isn’t. If it were there would be no need for mercy and no question of justice.

To be a member of this society requires reciprocity if we are, indeed, to be a great nation. Is America better because you are part of it? Is America stronger because you strive to make it so?

Freedom and justice for all isn’t just part of our pledge of allegiance.

We may be mere mortals but we were created in the image of God Almighty who is infinitely merciful and just. We are angered by injustice and moved to act on behalf of those we see as oppressed because justice and mercy are in our DNA.

The questions is, what is justice and who needs our mercy?

We are plagued with social struggles. To some degree we always have been. As America has evolved our views of justice have too. Morality has become fragmented. Social boundaries have fractured.

Who gets to decide what’s allowed in this nation?

Who gets to set the course for our collective future?

We do. That’s what makes democracy great. But that alone does not forge a united people.

“… And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Mercy is a form of love that covers both sides of every issue. Humility is the victor who recognizes right isn’t always absolute and that being right isn’t everything.

So how do we act justly and love mercy when it comes to some of today’s most difficult social struggles?

Abortion.

Gay Marriage.

Religious Freedom.

Safe Spaces.

Gender Identity.

First Amendment.

Euthanasia.

2016 Presidential Election.

No doubt at least one of these sends an immediate jolt of emotion radiating through your body. I imagine you have a strong sense that what you believe is righteous and or just.

That’s WHY loving mercy and walking in humility are required of you.

On both sides of every issue are people who matter to God. God requires you to treat them like they matter to you too.

No matter how strongly you feel about the issue there is someone else – just as wonderful as you – who believes the opposite. Can you have mercy on them? Can you be compassionate? Can you be kind and forgiving? Can you be humble? Can you extend the grace that God has extended to you?

America! America! God shed His grace on you. You live in a land of amazing beauty and plenty of everything. But your crowning glory is brotherhood.

Most of us knew these words by heart when we were children. I can’t remember the last time I heard it sang though. Sing it with me now.


O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

 

In His love and service,

Sharon Bollum

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Sharon Bollum
Sharon Bollum, producer of the 40 Churches in 40 Weeks book and documentary project is committed to finding ways to elevate the health and reputation of The Christian Community in the United States

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