Receive Mercy, Give Mercy

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Last Sunday, in the close of the Fresh Start sermon series, Rev. Jana preached on Lamentations 3: 22-24 These songs and stories of grief and lament were written by the Hebrews when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem. Many lines are those of torment, but others reveal faith in God’s mercies, mercies that are as new as the morning dew.

21 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

We also chanted Psalm 96 in a responsive reading, with the wonderful passage

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it.

Psalm 96, Rev. Jana said, is our response to God’s faithfulness. We don’t know God is with us until we have come through on the other side. Recognizing how God has carried us is part of beginning again. We receive the gift — fresh as the dew of morning, sure that God’s steadfast love never ceases.

“Receive mercy. Give mercy. A fresh start requires both.”

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