Daily Word of Grace # 240 (May 13, 2021)
One of the defining characteristics of Jesus’ earthly ministry is his compassion—as Matthew assures us in his account of the gospel: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). In his 2011 book Falling Upward, Franciscan friar and author Richard Rohr beautifully describes the personal, individual aspect of God’s compassion for us: “Jesus did not seem to teach that one size fits all, but instead that God adjusts to the vagaries and failures of the moment. The ability to adjust to human disorder and failure is named God’s providence or compassion. Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God’s own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us. Just the Biblical notion of absolute forgiveness, once experienced, should be enough to make us trust and seek and love God” (56-57). In his death on the cross as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) Jesus not only atoned for your sins, but also fulfilled God’s law (“God’s own rules”) in your place, which means as the Apostle Paul wrote, “you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). God’s compassion and grace are offered to the world, including you, personally and individually to minister to the you in the specific “vagaries and failures” of your life.
Love and Prayers,