Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Mercy (Titus 3:4–7)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Week 3: Salvation—Not for Sale

Week 3, Day 3

“A Prayer after Communion,” The Book of Common Prayer

O LORD and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that all we, who are partakers of this holy Communion, may be fulfilled with thy grace and heavenly benediction. And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

Mercy (Titus 3:4–7)

Jennifer Leung, Lutheran, Hong Kong

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 

It is the heart of mercy that makes people human and this is also one of God’s attributes. It is the mercy of God that justifies us by faith. What is mercy? It is an expression of compassion and love. What is God’s mercy? It is the grace of God, a free gift that shows the love of God; therefore mercy and love are inseparable. If we see things using God’s heart, we will be able to cultivate the heart of grace.

Among the verses in the Holy Bible that refer to grace, the one that impresses me most is the miracle of the five loaves and the two fish. “As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things” (Mk 6:34). Subsequently, in the miracle of feeding the four thousand people, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat” (Mk 8:2), and then Jesus worked the miracle of feeding them all. Jesus showed his heart of mercy to those who were lost, who were in need and who were hungry and treated them with love. He not only provided them with food to satisfy their physical needs but he also bestowed upon them the food of life to nourish them spiritually so that they will never be in lack again.

When we face those in need and those who are underprivileged, have our hearts of mercy been touched so as to love and care about them? Practicing justification is not that difficult—it is actually a demonstration of a life justified by faith. “But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy.”

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”