O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The above Collect happens to be the Collect for this Sunday. I think it is a beautiful prayer for meditation because it highlights God’s great power. With words like mercy and pity and grace, it reshapes our human imaginations about how God flexes his muscle and demonstrates almightiness. When I read it, my mind raced back to that extraordinary revelation God gave Moses: “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
As many of you know, the word mercy is often correlated with steadfast love. Many Psalms testify to it, but Psalm 136 is one of my favorites. Here the Psalmist opens with, “Give thanks to LORD, for he is good. His love (mercy) endures forever.” It’s a great Psalm to read while meditating on God’s almighty power.
Although a synonym with disappointment and shame, the word pity can also mean bighearted, good-hearted, or warmhearted. The online dictionary defines pity as “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others.” That sounds just like Jesus. No wonder Hebrews calls him a great high priest who empathizes with our utter humanness.
My last observation about Sunday’s Collect is that it points us toward the heavenly treasure we have in Christ. We are reminded that we have been saved by grace. Every inch of our lives has been made new! We are partakers in the promises of God! And, by his mercy, compassion, and grace, God empowers us to run toward the prize the Lord will award us on that Day!
The Lord’s peace be with you!