Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Mercy Song

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

                        Psalm 89.1 (King James Version)

Universal Mercy Day

We’re hanging with King James today because we’re celebrating God’s mercies toward us and the occasion calls for poetry. So what’s the occasion? It’s Universal Mercy of the Lord Day. Before some of us get all Googly and jump off to check if such a day really exists, we should clarify this fact. Every day is Universal Mercy of the Lord Day. By merely waking to a virgin dawn we witness God’s mercies and that alone is reason to rejoice.

Lamentations 3.22-23 declares, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” When the alarm opens our eyes to life’s realities, before anything else, we focus on four cardinal truths: God’s mercy sustains us. His love won’t fail. He replenishes both of them on a daily basis. And He never forgets, forsakes, or falls short of His promises. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” Jesus said. (Matthew 6.34) But if we greet every day as a celebration of life, love, newness, and faith—cramming the calendar with Universal Mercy Days—what our hearts hold will always overpower what the day holds.

The Song Never Ends

“Be filled with the Spirit,” Paul wrote, “singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5.18-19) Song comes naturally to all humans, voicing our full spectrum of emotions. Subscribers to Christ’s unnatural lifestyle, however, carry a different tune. We sing “The Mercy Song,” attributing our blessings to mercy and recasting our woes in anthems of faith. When Psalm 89's composer vowed to sing “The Mercy Song” forever, it wasn’t poetic overkill. With fresh mercy falling daily, the song never ends. How essential is this to know? The Bible rings out “His mercy endureth forever” 41 times. Scriptural numerologists identify “40” with tribulation: the 40-day flood, Israel’s 40-year trek, Jesus’s 40-day desert war with Satan, etc. Mercy always goes one better, standing intact and unchallenged after trouble falls apart.

Make Some Noise

The Psalmist’s pledge exceeded humming to himself or bellowing in the privacy of the shower. Once he began singing “The Mercy Song,” he wanted to make it known. It’s the ultimate tune. It plays constantly in our heads and flows out of us. God arranged the song like that on purpose. If His endless mercy can’t be contained, neither should its song. When at last we grasp its enormous, powerful message, we’ll stop singing “The Mercy Song” to ourselves. Love for God and our neighbors will compel us to make some noise.

"His Mercy Endureth Forever": The West Angeles COGIC Mass Choir (with a little congregational noise-making at the end).

(Tomorrow: Who’s Zooming Who?)

Personal Postscript: The Rev

Rev. Fred Anderson is a retired minister and regular "Straight-Friendly" reader. He's also one of the liveliest bloggers I know. If something's afoot--in politics, religion, the culture at large--Fred's on top of it, speaking his mind and asking all the right questions. There's no doubt where he stands on the issues he raises or why he's concerned. But lest I paint his blog too seriously, I should also add it's threaded with a fine sense of humor and gentle irreverence.

A few minutes a day on his blog is like going to coffee with a smart, great friend. There's no telling what's on his mind at any given moment. But once you get there, it's sure to be thought-provoking, informative, or funny--sometimes all three. So pour a fresh cup of Joe, spend some time with The Rev, and, by all means, chime in on the discussion.

The Rev's Rumbles


Missy said...

Just popping in to say "hi" and thanks for another great meditation. I'll have to check out The Rev!

Tim said...

Hey, Missy--always a joy to hear from you! And, by all means, check The Rev out. I'm sure you two will have plenty to talk about!