Last Sunday, Jon Crawford proclaimed the good news that God’s justice and mercy are not in opposition to each other. They’re not in tension or opposite sides of the same coin.
We’re often tempted to believe that a situation requires either justice or mercy. In DNA (our discipleship groups), we might call these two seemingly opposed options grace and truth.
When we fall prey to this false dichotomy, we feel we are forced to 1) discern which approach is appropriate for the situation and 2) somehow strike the perfect balance for the situation at hand. Not only is that a lot of pressure, but that also seems to reinforce the notion that justice and mercy (or grace and truth) exist at opposite ends of a spectrum.
Does this situation warrant justice or mercy? Grace or truth? Honesty or niceness?
Friends, any time we are tempted to believe that one of these is appropriate and not the other, we need to be reminded of the good news we receive in the Gospel.
God’s justice is mercy and God’s mercy is justice.
Mercy doesn’t mean that we circumvent reality and bypass wrongdoing or sweep things under the rug. No, the good news of the gospel is better than that!
God reckons with and is reconciling all of reality to Godself. That means even the past — we don’t have to forget to forgive. Instead, God is faithful to walk through even those memories of injustice and repair the wounds of the past.
Christ reveals a God who meets us in the messiness of real life. God is meeting you right where you’re at. In the midst of sickness, frustration, confusion, loneliness, recovery, promotion, elation… whatever you are experiencing or feeling, God is present with you in it.
May you be reminded of and surprised by the goodness of God’s presence with you this week.