Traditionally, the General Secretary of the UEM interprets the annual biblical motto in the first devotion of the year. Therefore, please read below the devotion of Rev. Volker Martin Dally of January 4, 2021 from Luke 6:36:
Jesus Christ says: Be merciful, as your Father is merciful!
"Mercy is a quality of the human character. A merciful person opens his heart to stranger need and charitably attends to it." So we can read it on Wikipedia. Is it true? Is mercy a quality of human character?
Looking back over the past year, I see a lot of cold-heartedness in the face of the pandemic and world politics. Self-proclaimed contrarians deny the deaths of hundreds of thousands as a result of the pandemic and even dare to make themselves victims, even comparing themselves to the victims of the Holocaust is not a limit of shamelessness for them. Unbelievable cold-heartedness.
Politicians in the countries of the member churches of the UEM, but even in the European Union, use the pandemic to push through their own interests, do not stop at abuse of power and even brutal violence. Brutal callousness instead of mercy.
And anyone who stands up for the rights of refugees experiences so-called shitstorms in the social media, up to and including death threats, even in our country. I see ice-cold madness there.
Mercy is not an innate human quality. Mercy must be experienced in order to be able to be merciful oneself. That is why Jesus says: Be merciful, as your Father is merciful! Mercy is therefore a divine quality. However, it is a quality of God that we are supposed to have. We can be merciful. An example story of mercy is the parable of the "Good Samaritan". In it, it becomes clear very quickly that mercy is much more than pity. The Good Samaritan looks, goes and acts decisively. He provides material help and makes provisions for the future. Thus, mercy becomes a crown, as it is said in the Psalms about God's attention: "... who crowns you with mercy and grace!" (Ps 103)
Yes, we should and can be merciful! A good year 2021, even in the face of crises, will be significantly influenced by our success in practicing mercy in words and deeds. That we can do it, Jesus leaves no doubt, because he trusts us with this divine quality as human beings. Therefore: Let us be merciful, as our Father is merciful. Amen!
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