With the thought of mercy, what comes to mind?
The cold kindness a bully shows when his victim admits defeat? Or Jesus on the cross praying, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”
My guess is that if we could sit down around the same table— and share a meal of memories about some of the mercy we’ve seen and received, there would be a lot of smiles and a few tears.
Before calling it a day, we might read, together, the 136th Psalm written to recall a God who is good and whose mercy endures forever.
We’d probably get stuck for a while on the unnerving thought that, as this celebration of goodness unfolds, what is merciful to some seems merciless to others.
But I think we’d end up agreeing that, like much of the rest of the Bible, this song doesn’t describe the way the world should be. In a world of bullies, it shows us how grateful we can be for friends like our God— whose mercy endures forever.