Desiring Mercy and Justice

Desiring Mercy and Justice

Sunday, June 14

Read: Matthew 9:9-13

Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’” (v. 13). The Pharisees know immediately that Jesus is referring to Hosea 6:6. Another reading that comes to mind is Micah 6:6-8. These two passages offer the picture of what God desires of us: the balance of mercy and justice with lovingkindness and humbleness.

Just doing mercy and justice, as honorable as they are, can cause me to be prideful. “Look at me: I spoke out against the injustice I saw.” “Look at me: I showed mercy by helping someone who was hungry.”

I might as well be the hypocrite praying loudly on the street corner (Matthew 6:5). But lovingkindness and humility soften my human edges. It is no longer about me doing. It is about the person receiving God’s justice and mercy, and and that includes me as well.

Lord, help me balance the desire for mercy and justice with lovingkindness and humbleness in everything I do in your name. AMEN.

About the Author

Diane Riley is a charter member of Monadnock Covenant Church, in Keene, New Hampshire. Now semi-retired, she has been a staff writer and editor at a local newspaper, proofreader and copy editor, and, for a short time, a high-school English teacher and administrative assistant at her church.

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