As video of the blown call was broadcast, fans became outraged. Jim Joyce suddenly became the most hated man in sports. But what happened the next day changed everything. Before the game started, Galarrago walked onto the field, wrapped his arms around Joyce, and forgave him. It was one of the greatest acts of mercy I’ve ever witnessed.
A similar event happened more than two thousand years ago when God allowed His Son to perish on a cross for the sins of all humanity. Like Jim Joyce, we were doomed, but our doom was much worse than a fine or suspension. Our fate was eternal separation from God. Yet God—because of his infinite mercy, provided a way for us to avoid eternal loss.
I wonder if that same abundance of mercy is evident in my life and my church. Or have I allowed condemnation and judgment to fill my place of worship? Without mercy there will be no transparency in my church. Instead, the pews will be filled with members afraid to shed the façade that all is well in their lives...that they have no struggles with sin, no fears, no doubts.
According to Paul, none of us are righteous. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one (Romans 3:10 NLT). We’re all in need of mercy. And judgment and condemnation can’t accomplish what mercy can.
Reflection: If you need proof of God’s love and mercy, just look at the cross. Then go give a hug to someone who needs a dose.
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