A Year of Mercy!

mercyThis year we are being rather radical at Knaphill Baptist Church! We are dispensing with a ‘Motto Text’ for 2016 … and instead we are introducing a ‘theme’ which hopefully will characterise us, as individuals and as a church, throughout this year, and into the future. The theme is ‘A Year of Mercy’ and the intention is to constantly remind ourselves that we are both recipients of God’s great mercy shown towards us in Christ, and at the same time be a people who show that same kind of mercy to others, whoever they are, whatever they have done, and whatever their need! In this we are echoing a similar theme originally advocated by Pope Francis in 2015, and currently being taken up by a number of Anglican Churches in 2016. If you want a biblical text to hang this concept on then you need look no further than Paul’s exhortation to Titus: ‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his great mercy’ (Titus 3:4,5). As Christians, however, we are not simply the recipients of God’s mercy, we are also called to be merciful to others! If God is merciful, then we too in our individual lives, and in our shared life as Church, should be merciful. As Jesus himself taught us: ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy’ (Matthew 5:7).

Dr Ida Sophia Scudder (1870-1960) was a medical missionary in India. She dedicated her life to the plight of Indian women and the fight against bubonic plague, cholera and leprosy. One day a Hindu woman, one of Dr Scudder’s patients at the Christian Hospital in Vellore committed her life to Jesus Christ. When Dr Scudder asked the woman why she had converted to Christ the woman replied: ‘Because your God is kind, and loving, and merciful … and you are like your God!

Heavenly Father, as we celebrate this year of mercy: open the doors of our hearts and minds that we may show forth in our lives the mercy and compassion that we see in the face of your Son Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen

Our Theme for 2017

‘‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40