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The Rev. Charlie Camlin: “Mercy” (Luke 6:36)

June 21, 2008

From the Rev. Charlie Camlin of Holy Trinity REC in Virginia we have another good sermon, this one being on the subject of Mercy and based on Luke 6:36.  Fr. Camlin talks about what mercy is, and shows how our Father is merciful–and then he goes on to show how we should be imitators of God:

I come back to our command from Christ where He says, “Be merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” We are called to be imitators of God. God’s mercy is the pattern for our mercy. Having seen God’s mercy, we can now understand this command. We have seen that God is merciful toward His creation and we too should be merciful toward the creation. Is it not to our shame that many of the pagans care more about our world than we do? If we are going to inherit the earth, should we not demonstrate God’s mercy towards it? We should be the ones who are leading the way in caring for God’s creation. That does not mean that we cannot use the resources that God has given but it does mean that we should not be wasteful. When trees are cut, others should be replanted. We should participate in recycling whenever possible. It should anger us when rivers and lakes are polluted. We also should care for the animals that have been entrusted to us. King Solomon says in the Proverbs, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal.” (Prov 12:10) God is merciful toward His creation and we should imitate Him by being merciful also.

God is also merciful to mankind in general and so should we be merciful to all. Look at the verses which precede our reading today beginning at verse 27: “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. “To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. “Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. “And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” (Luke 6:27-35) God is merciful to all men and so should we be. St. Paul says it this way, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom 12:17-18)

And finally, because God is merciful to His people, so should we be merciful to one another. In the verses that follow this command, Christ seems to give us some concrete examples of how we can be merciful to one another. As usual, the pattern is that those who have received mercy should demonstrate mercy. God has been merciful to us therefore we ought to be merciful toward one another. We demonstrate mercy toward one another by not being judgmental, by forgiving one another; by giving to those who have needs; and by helping rather than condemning those who are struggling with sin in their lives. We need to remember that we all have the same illness—sin—and that we are all on the road to recovery—some a little bit further along the road than others—but still in recovery. We will not be totally healed until the Lord returns and eradicates sin and raises our bodies incorruptible. In the mean time, we all need mercy.

Today, let us heed our Lord’s command, “Be merciful as your Father also is merciful.” May we imitate God by being merciful to His creation, to all men, and especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.

Let us be imitators of God, truly, in this respect, for “blessed are the merciful.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June Camlin permalink
    February 26, 2010 1:32 pm

    Thank you for this Charlie.. we must be distantly related
    so from one CAMLIN to another. May God Bless you and make his
    face to shine on you.

    With Christian Love
    June Camlin
    Chorley
    Lancashire
    United Kingdom of great Britain

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