Plea for mercy

Home » Lent Reflections » Plea for mercy
Justice and mercy

Readings: Daniel 3:25. 34-43; Matthew 18:21-35

"Do not withdraw your favour from us, for the sake of Abraham, your friend, of Isaac your servant, and of Israel your holy one." (Daniel 3:35)

Lent is a time when we acknowledge the reality of our own sinfulness. We recall the teaching of the first letter of John, which bluntly declares that "if we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves and refusing to admit the truth". To help us face up to this truth and its consequences for our daily lives, we hear today a prayer from the prophet Daniel and a parable of Jesus from Matthew's Gospel.

In Daniel's story, Azariah is one of three men thrown into a fire. "In the heart of the fire" he makes a plea to God for forgiveness. He recalls the fidelity of God to the promises God made to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He laments how his people lacked leadership and how it was impossible for them to offer the animal sacrifices common in the religions of his time. They could do no more than to offer hearts with a firm trust in God as they sought God's face.

The Gospel describes a king who imitated God in offering his servant remission of an enormous debt. This king tempered justice with mercy. Sadly, the servant refused to imitate his master's exercise of justice with mercy in dealing with someone whose debt was trivial in comparison. When we pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", we boldly declare that we have learnt the lesson of Jesus' parable. The prayer of Daniel may help us.

Prayer
Father, we pray that we may be honest in admitting our sins and failures. May we respond with true humility of heart and, in our relations with others exercise the mercy that we hope for from you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

You may also be interested in

United Worship - Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance
Prayer & Worship

You are warmly invited to join us either 'in person' or 'via Zoom' for our United Worship.A Service Of Thanksgiving, Remembrance, And Call to FaithFor the Year that we have been throughAnd for the Future to which Christ calls usSunday 27 June, 6.30pm Herford Methodist Church, Ware Road, Hertford, SG13 7DZThe preacher will be Revd Blair Kirkby - Area Co-Chair...

Commissioning Service  - Joan Smth
Prayer & Worship

You are warmly invited to join us either 'in person' or 'via Zoom' for our United Worship to celebrateThe Commissioning of Mrs Joan Smith As An Assembly Accredited Lay PreacherOf The United Reformed ChurchSunday 25th July 2021 at 4.00 pmSt Andrew's Methodist Church,The Stow, Harlow, CM20 3AFIf you would like the Zoom details please email: hae...

Everyboby In
URC News: Tue 08 Jun 8:08am

Saturday 12th June 10am — 1pmAn online session on welcome and inclusion for all. An opportunity to think about how we ensure that we are truly welcoming to all those who might feel 'on the edges', especially in these times. We will have input from the URC's Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries Karen Campbell and URC minister Revd Alex Clare-Young, as well as the ...

© 2012 - 2021 Herts and Essex Border Ecumenical Area

Methodist, United Reformed Church and Anglican Churches in Partnership