Kyrie Eleison

Kyrie Eleison! Lord be merciful to me a sinner!

Christians have uttered these words for centuries. You may want to listen to a Kyrie Eleison here The Kyrie Eleison is not a prayer people recite unthinkably or mechanically. It is the sincere cry of a repentant heart desperate and utterly dependent upon Jesus. It is the awesome recognition of how just and compassionate our God truly is and how lost and damaged we were, are and continue to be. The Kyrie Eleison reminds us that at the heart of the universe beats a heart of loving and compassionate God who is just but who can also be merciful.

The One who has the right to give mercy is God. One of the most beautiful examples of God's mercy is the prodigal son, who leaves home, wastes all his inheritance in sin and sinful living and ends up living with the pigs. The prodigal son comes to his senses as he remembers his father, repents and returns home where he is embraced by a waiting father who announces a feast to celebrate his lost son's return.

Mercy isn't something we deserve. I think we short-circuit the whole repentance process by moving toward forgiveness too quickly. I think it is a rare person who takes the adequate time to process their sin and its effects on the four foundational relationships of God, self, others and the rest of creation. I sometimes wonder if God protects us from realizing the universal effects of sin because I doubt we could exist if we truly grasped the absolute desolation of it all.

We cannot pray for mercy if we have not given mercy. I am reminded of a parable Jesus used to illustrate his point in Matthew 18:23-35. Two debtors owe two different sums of money. One debtor owed a substantial sum and the other a pittance. The one who owed a substantial amount received mercy from the king. But he refused to offer mercy to someone else who owed him a pittance. The consequence of the unmerciful debtor can be shocking to some.

Consider someone that may need mercy instead of Justice in your life. What might happen if you offered them mercy? Maybe the ultimate blessing comes to those to receive mercy and allow mercy to flow through them. Remember, none of us deserve it but God allows his mercy's power to transform the world.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." Matthew 5:7 NASB