“’Please, come closer,’ [Joseph] said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, ‘I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors’” [Genesis 45:4-7]
The example of forgiveness and mercy displayed in Joseph’s life is astounding! To be sold into slavery, utterly abandoned and considered as good as dead by your brothers, then to experience years of imprisonment and injustice as a result of their wrongdoing, seems an unforgiveable offense. But in expressing his emotions, revealing his brothers’ wrongdoing and recognizing God’s greater purpose, Joseph was able to forgive his brothers and save his entire family from certain starvation.
This is the power of God on display, helping us radically forgive those who have wronged us. This grace permeates our homes and informs how we as Christ-followers respond to those in need of mercy around us.
Sadly, new data from Barna Group shows that Christians closely resemble the broader population when it comes to reporting feelings of compassion for those in distress, the poor, someone who has wronged them or someone who has committed a crime. How can we reverse this trend and, as a church community, set ourselves apart by our mercy-filled lives? How can we live in a way that shows we believe “mercy triumphs over judgement” (James 2:13)?
Join me this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM on The Mercy Journey as we seek to answer these questions and become a mercy-filled church.