Thursday, August 13, 2020


   This is the fifth in our

     Summer Series

 We are exploring how to


    on living out 

     The Sermon 
   On The Mount


Dear All of Us,

"Give me a break!"

We've all felt and said that 

more than many times.

And more than many people

have given us a break.

That break broke a bind or bond.

It helped us get up when we were down.

It meant a release from lock and limit.

It saved a grade, a job, a marriage.

It was someone pushing our refresh tab.

It cancelled a hold on our future. 

Someone had mercy on us.

Mercy makes life work.

It frees to growth, goodness, grace.

Without it the gears of society lock up.

Without it we do too.

Mercy is a blessing, given and received.

Mercy means the one on top

releases the one on the bottom,

the one with advantage shares it

with the one disadvantaged.

That can be emotionally, economically, 

socially, educationally, relationally - 

a whole host of deficits 

and dependencies lifted.

It's an attitude of forbearance 

that refrains from demanding 

the owed pound of flesh.

It's compassion graduating to action.

Mercy is an indispensable approach,

an essential attitude for our very being, 

                 truly a        

            BE ATTITUDE


                                      Matthew 5:7

Blessed indeed are the merciful.

Their opening to another 

opens them so completely 

that they, too, are opened

to receive mercy 

when they are in such need.

Mercy is indeed twice blessed -

the giver and the receiver 

are both opened in a communion,

unbarred to give and to receive.

Mercy is like a revolving door.

What goes round comes round.

  "As you sew, so shall you reap."

                           Galatians 6:7

  "The measure you give will be 

    the measure you get back."

                            Matthew 7:2

Like all the Be Attitudes, 

mercy is rooted in God

and God's Love.

It takes a lot of GodGood,

to be merciful.

It takes a lot of Love, 

GodLove, to be merciful.

Mercy opens us 

to an inpouring of God Love.

That energy flows through us, 

opening us to another in mercy.

Mercy involves helping, giving, 

forgiving, serving, understanding.

There's a lot of protein to it.

  "In everything, do unto others 

   as you would have them 
   do to you."
                         Matthew 7:12

   "Be merciful, 

    even as your Father is merciful. 

    Judge not,  

    and you will not be judged; 

    condemn not, 

    and you will not be condemned; 

    and you will be forgiven;


    and it will be given to you."

                               Luke 6:36-38

   " often should I forgive? 

    As many as as seven times?

     Not seven times, but, 

     I tell you seventy-seven times."

                           Matthew 18:21-22

    "Truly I tell you, just as you did it 

      to one of the least of these 

      who are members of my family, 

      you did it to me."  

                                Matthew 25:40


So, how does all this play out spiritually

here on the street of everyday living?

Well, we need to be prepared for answers 

that are just plain counter cultural.

Those answer-actions 

are culture corrective,
and they cost!

They mean taking sharp issue 

with our society.

Mercy lays claim on us 

in the face of suffering and need.

It asks us to actually live 

as simply as we can 

so that others may simply live.

That frees up means and energies

to mercifully relieve pain and need.

         PLEASE FEEL 



  This very day there are
     here in our world



  These are not the millions 

who go to bed hungry every night.

        These are those 

         WHO WILL DIE

   in the next few months

if we do not get food to them.


    If all those people were 

      in the United States,

  every man, woman and child

          - everyone -

        - in every state -

from the East Coast across the country 

 to the six western most states,

      would live in squalor,

        suffer intensely

        and drop dead 

between now and the new year. (!)

      Mercy lays claim on us

      in the face of suffering and need.

      It actually asks us to live 

      as simply as we can

      so that others may simply live.

      That frees up funds and energies

      to mercifully relieve pain and need. 

This would be a good place to stop and pray.

A church nearby here in Washington

just completed "30 " -

30 days 

to raise $30,000 

to cover costs for 30 families 

to live for 30 days 

at a local residence 

for homeless families.

I know an older couple 

who use Instacart for their weekly 

food shopping and delivery

during this Pandemic.

Each week they add in a $25 tip 

for the shopper, most always 

a strapped ethnic minority person. 

A small business owner 

is struggling to keep his staff 

salaried and insured

during our current

health and financial upheaval.

Of course, mercy costs 

in more than financial ways.

A growing cadre of black, brown 

and white people

are paying a huge 

emotional/psychic/social price 

working together 

to understand, address and correct 

America's racial/ethnic flaw.

A lot of mercy to give and get.

People, more than sentimentally merciful,

are facing how violent so much 

of our sports, entertainments and politics are. 

They are choosing and supporting otherwise.

An elderly woman suffered a cruel marriage

for way too many years 

before being abandoned.

After many years her former husband

was destitute and dying.

She took him in and cared for him.

He died peacefully and in dignity.

During online teaching,

a second grade teacher calls 

each of her students once a week

just to stay in touch,

and love on them.

She reads them a little story as well.

Long ago a Russian poet and reformer

responder to a beggar: 

   "Do not be angry with me brother; 

    I have nothing with me,"

The beggar answered:

   "But you called me brother - 

    that was a great gift."

Jesus on the cross:

    "Father, forgive them 

     for they know not 

      what they do."

                 Luke 23:34

Jesus helps us give each other 

a break that breaks both ways:



    Thanks for your good company!

              Holding us all in 

              God's Great Mercy

                 John Frank


(1) See PBS Evening News
      July21, 2020
      David Beasley, Director, 
      World Food Program


                 PRAY AND PONDER

This coming week we are invited 

to marinate in Mercy.

Each day let's reread 

a section of the above.

Pray and Ponder over it.

We move beyond seeing it 

with our eyes

to hearing it in 

the sacred chamber of our Spirit.

What does THE SPIRIT 

utter to our Spirit there?

How can we accept this call?

What are the openings to open?

Let's give particular attention 

to each of the Sacred Scriptures

in this week's sharing.

What do they reveal about how 

we can be merciful

 in an honest and thorough way?

Lastly, let's be soul seasoned and softened 

by Shakespeare's wisdom words in 

       The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

T'is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown:

His scepter shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God's

When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,

Though justice be thy plea, consider this,

That, in the course of justice, none of us

Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;

And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much

 To mitigate the justice of thy plea;

 Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice

 Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.