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Communion 2009

Divine Style

Originally scheduled for December 13

Glory is to God as style is to an artist, we are told. It is an eternal characteristic of God that he shows us mercy – and does so in a style which befits the Almighty. Consider the elements of His style of mercy:

First, he is compassionate. Christ did not go to the Cross grudgingly, but willingly. We did not earn the Cross; he freely gave it. He gave it to us out of his great love and compassion. Indeed, he became man so that he might share our passions – and we his.

Next, he is kind. There are passages in the Old Testament which show the God of wrath; there are passages which show the God of mercy. At the Cross we see the kindness of God, for he died for the unworthy. If you are kind in feeding the poor, how much more kindness is in the Cross?

Did Christ go to the Cross with head held high, reminding one and all of his greatness, of how he was condescending to us? No. He went to the Cross like a lamb to the slaughter – in great humility. There is no trace of pride and arrogance, only the model of humility for his followers.

Indeed, because of the Cross he now calls the sinner home – and does so with consummate gentleness. The Omnipotent God applies no force to his children; softly and tenderly Jesus is calling the sinner home. The gentle Jesus needs no ax to break down the door; he stands at the door and knocks.

The mercy of God is also patient. He waits for the prodigal to return home, never giving up hope of the sight of a son coming over the horizon. Even at death’s door, God’s mercy is still available.

 

Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience – these are the primary colors with which God paints his mercy. It is good for us to remember the style of God. It reminds us that none of us deserve the salvation we are given. It also reminds us that when we leave this place of Communion, we should imitate our Lord – in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We follow our Master’s way, in our Master’s style.

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