Acts 20:35 – ’We must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Mercy is a bit of an odd word these days. So, what does it actually mean? And what is a mercy ministry?
Mercy can mean lots of things but in the context of what we do at Jericho Road, the best synonym is compassion. To have mercy on someone is to invest in their lives and their struggles and seek to assist them. Not because they are extra special but because we didn’t deserve the mercy shown to us by God through Jesus and so we replicate that by showing others the same mercy. In the Bible Christians are called to show mercy to all – even people we disagree with. We are called to love our neighbours as we love ourselves and mercy is a big way in which we do that. Ever heard the story of the Good Samaritan on Jericho Road (Luke 10:25-37)? That is a story all about mercy. A man saw someone lying on the side of the road, injured. Instead of just walking past like others had done, the man shows compassion and extends mercy to the man – helping him.
The Bible is also very clear that God’s Church should show mercy in everything we do. A Mercy Ministry focusses on giving people practical love and support. Everything from financial aid to medical intervention can be a mercy ministry. For example, Allowah is a key mercy ministry for Jericho Road as it allows us to invest ourselves in the lives of others, seeking to serve them.
If you are a follower of Jesus, then you personally know the wonders of mercy. None of us deserve to be in a relationship with God but because of the great news of Jesus’ death and resurrection – we can be. This is only through God’s mercy. We know the real joy that comes with mercy and we seek to show other people that joy we have received. Take Allowah again – it is a place of joy, not because of us but because of what drives us, mercy.
Dignity, emotional and spiritual support are foundational in our ethos. This isn’t because we are particularly special – it is because we follow a particularly special example in Jesus Christ.
‘We love because he first loved us’ – 1 John 4:19