“Lord have mercy….”
There was a time in my life when I said this about a hundred times a day: “Lord have mercy…Lord have mercy…”
I seemed to be encountering an abundance of situations that were so far beyond my abilities – so far out of my league to “fix” that I found myself saying, “Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy….” This prayer was never said in a trite or trivial way – it was a genuine acknowledgement that only the Lord, in the Lord’s infinite power and wisdom and grace, could possibly bring into the situation what was truly needed. If Ken and the children had heard this prayer once they had heard it a thousand times.
One day, our son, John, decided to offer a new response. Prior to this day, John and Anne had always responded with an “Amen,” or a simple gesture, nod, or eye contact that let me know they joined in the prayer for this person or circumstance, along with providing whatever practical assistance and aid we could lend. But on this one day, John stopped in his tracks. He took command of the moment, looked at me, and said, “Mama, He always does. The Lord always does. He’s good at that.”
For a split second I was startled. John’s confidence and conviction about God’s person and work stopped me in my tracks! Then the truth of this proclamation began to take hold. Why, yes, the Lord does! What an encouragement and comfort! What a blessed assurance! God in Christ makes things right on our behalf and extends mercy and grace to all!
Yes, we have to yield; yes, we have to receive the grace offered to us in order for it to be effective in our lives, but the Lord is always at work on our behalf. The Lord searches us out, sits down at the table with us, calls us to repentance, forgives our sins and empowers us to live transformed lives!
Sinners at the Gospel Feast. This is the title for this week’s sermon, and is the third in our preaching series on “The Table.” Accept the Lord’s invitation – experience the healing presence of the Lord in order to share this refreshment and assurance with others.
Rev. Martha McLean, Pastor of Christian Formation