Monday, June 14, 2010

Have Mercy

As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy on us. Psalm 123: 2 NRSV

Several thoughts in my head concerning this passage:

  • hands of a master or mistress: does this entail punishment, i.e. a slap for doing wrong?
  • looking at a person's hands means that you are lower than they are, at least to some extent
  • the visualization here is someone on their knees, kissing the master's/mistress' hand
  • if you look at someones hands, you can't be looking at their eyes: sign of shame
  • if you look at someones hands, you can't be looking at their eyes: sign of subservience
  • until God has mercy: how long is the servant/slave bowing before their superior?
In asking for forgiveness and mercy, it may seem as though we expect punishment. Will the same hand that feeds us become the hand that hits us? In asking for God's mercy, we recognize that we are lower than God. In asking for God's forgiveness, we must be obviously in supplication, whether truly on our knees or not. In asking for God's mercy, we come face-to-face with our shame. In asking for forgiveness, we admit our subservience. God will have mercy, but it won't happen immediately. We may have to keep asking until we are truly sorry and God sees this in our hearts. And we may have to continue to ask for forgiveness again and again until we are ready to accept God's complete forgiveness.

God, we come before you to entreat you for mercy. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy upon us! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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