Becoming a people of mercy

July 14, 2012

In the wake of General Convention, this article spoke to me.–JW
From Francis Frangipane

It is right that we should be troubled by the sins of our nation. But we must remember, all nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, leaders and intercessors cry to the Lord for mercy. Thus, Christlike prayer brings redemption out of disaster.

The church was created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy. True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.

Jesus said His Father’s house would be a “house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matt. 5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends (Job 42:10), God fully restored him. We are to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6), and “pray for” each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, he urged “that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority” (vv. 1-2).

The nature of our calling is to pray for people in difficulty, in sin, in sickness, and in need of God. . . .

Our goal is not merely the exposure of sin, but also the unveiling of the sacrifice for sin. Our great commission is to bring healing and the message of God’s mercy to the nations. . . . May the Lord give us a clear vision of this truth: intercession is the essence of Christ’s life. Not only is He now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Rom. 8:34), but His coming to earth and dying for sins was one extended act of intercession. Jesus beheld the depravity of mankind’s sin. He examined it carefully in all of its offensiveness, perversity, and repulsiveness. Yes, He rebuked it when necessary, but the wonder of the Gospel is that, in spite of mankind’s sin, God so deeply loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16-17).

We are called to follow this same amazing pattern of mercy.

We are not minimizing sin when we maximize Christ’s mercy. There is a difference between whitewashing sin and bloodwashing it. The reality that compels God’s heart—that is an underlying principle of life—is “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). To live a life of mercy corresponds perfectly with God’s heart. Mercy precisely fulfills the divine purpose: to transform man into the Redeemer’s image.

Anti-Israel partisanship

July 14, 2012

I share Cranmer’s dismay at the CoE General Synod endorsing the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
Anti-Semitism peaked in Medieval England, exacerbated by the Crusades. In 1144, the Jewish quarter of Norwich was sacked and fired. In 1190, pogroms took place throughout England, resulting in hundreds of deaths. In 1211, 300 rabbis left England and France to begin life anew in Palestine. In 1218, Henry III required the Jews to wear a badge, and many more emigrated. In 1255, eighteen Jews were hanged in response to a rumor of the crucifixion death of a boy named Hugh. During the English civil war, 1257-1267, pogroms almost wiped out the Jewish community. In 1290, Edward I ordered the 16,000 remaining Jews to leave.

O Lord God of Israel,
You promised Your servant Abraham that You would make of him a great nation and that he would be a blessing. We thank You, Lord. He was indeed a blessing to all of us. The children of Israel blessed us with a linear sense of time, rather than a cyclical one, and the awareness of living one’s life with purpose. They blessed us with monotheism, the recognition of the one true God. They blessed us with the Ten Commandments, teaching us how to order our lives. They blessed us with the Messiah.
You promised Abraham that You would bless them that blessed him and curse them that cursed him.
We confess that our ancestors and the Church of England persecuted the Jews for religious differences and financial envy.
We in the Episcopal Church have not always blessed Israel–in our parliamentary resolutions, in the media, in our relationships with politicians, in anti-Zionist activities, and in personal anti-Semitism.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ Himself is our peace, who has made Jew and Gentile both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility. Christ is the Prince of Peace, a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek, the King of Peace. We draw near to God through Him. We plead for mercy. Forgive our iniquities and spare the righteous.
Blessed is the nation whom God has chosen as His inheritance. For the sake of Jerusalem, we pray that her righteousness goes forth as brightness and her salvation as a burning torch. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Bless the Church of England, the Anglican Communion, and the Episcopal Church, we pray. Amen.
Psalm 33:12, 122:6, Isaiah 62:1, Romans 11:16-18, Ephesians 2:13-14, Hebrews 7

Romans 10:14-15

July 14, 2012

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)
      Holy Spirit, send forth many to speak and preach your word throughout this diocese so that many more will believe. They are all around us who have never heard the gospel of peace. Give us a passion for sharing the Father’s love. Thank you.

A word received: Pray for your children and your children’s children. Pray for my work among them.

Saturday: 20, 21:1-7(8-14) * 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; Deut. 34:1-12: Rom. 10:14-21: Matt. 24:32-51
Sunday: 148, 149, 150 * 114, 115; Joshua 1:1-18: Acts 21:3-15: Mark 1:21-27
HC: 85 or 85:7-13; Amos 7:7-15; Ephesians 1:1-14; Mark 6:7-13

Albany Intercessor

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