Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Practicing Mercy

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Painting

  •  The Seven Acts of Mercy (Brueghel, Pieter the Younger) Click on the painting for a better view.  Can you pick out how the artist interprets the seven acts of mercy? Who is giving? Who is receiving?  How do you react to this painting? What does it not say that you wish it did?

Video Clip

  • Virtual Reality gave this couple a way to relive memories (Upworthy) How is what this 90-year-old couple experiences in this video an act of mercy for them? What do you notice about their faces before the experience and then after? What other “out of the box” kinds of mercy acts are you aware of?

  • #Lovebomb Auckland City (Love This City) Read more about this movement here.  What do you notice about the faces of those people giving? Those receiving?  Do you think this way of administering mercy is effective? Why or why not?

  • Remember: You Were Once Foreigners (slateprojectmore) What stood out to you from this video?  Were you aware of the Christian organizations responding to these kinds of needs in our country?

Song

  • Mercy (Singing Churchmen and Churchwomen) Use this song as a prayer and pray along with it.  What stands out to you from this prayer? 

Article 

  • Spiritual Gifts: Mercy (Kelli Mahoney) How is the spiritual gift of Mercy different from the Christian call to be merciful? Which of the verses listed seem to be referring to mercy as a spiritual gift vs. mercy we should all practice?

  • Where my Church Got It Right (EFCA Today) Which of these stories of modern-day mercy stand out to you? How have you seen mercy practiced by your church? What is an act of mercy you could initiate in your church or community?

Blog/Ideas

  • 51 Creative Ways to Show Mercy (Marisa Helms) This is a huge list of ideas.  Which of these have you done (nice work!)?  What are one or two that you and your mentor/mentee might do together?  What attitude do you think is important to have as you practice an act of mercy like this? Be descriptive.

Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • When you think of showing mercy, what pictures come to your mind? When were you a recipient of someone else’s mercy? What was that like?

  • Journal about a time you tried to extend mercy and it didn’t go well. Put yourself in the shoes of the receiver.  What do you think they were feeling or experiencing?  How do you think you would approach it differently now?

  • It’s easy to say that Jesus was merciful, but how did he show mercy to others (practically)? Can you tell anything about his attitude as he showed mercy?

Quote Interaction  (Agree, disagree or otherwise engage with the quote/quotes)

  • There are 2,000 verses of Scripture that tell us we must be committed to protecting the poor and the oppressed... There is no concern of Scripture that is addressed so often and so powerfully as reaching out to the poor. (Tony Campolo)

  • We must reach out our hand in friendship and dignity both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy. (Arthur Ashe)

  • “We should not regard what a man is and what he deserves: but we should go higher – that it is God who has placed us in the world for such a purpose that we be united and joined together. He has impressed his image in us and has given us a common nature, which should incite us to providing one for the other. The man who wishes to exempt himself from providing for his neighbors should face himself and declare that he no longer wishes to be a man, for as long as we are human creatures we must contemplate as in a mirror our face in those who are poor, despised, exhausted, who groan under their burdens . ..   (John Calvin)

  • Mercy is something we extend, not just something we intend. (George Grant)

Reading and reflection on Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Read Teresa’s words about speaking at a conference on sexuality (pp. 169-170, see also pp. 179-181).  How do you see a ministry of compassion and mercy applying to the way we respond to each other in the area of our sexuality/sexual failures?  What might that look like?

  • Read “Challenge unawareness” and “Invite young adults to be proactive” (p. 156). In what ways do you think you have been “unaware” of the call to love others? Journal about where you are with the three things listed that hinder us from proactive caring, or do an assessment of your relationships as suggested.  

Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  What can you learn from this scripture about mercy or showing mercy?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Psalm 41:1-3

  • Psalm 103:8,10-14

  • Micah 6:8

  • Matthew 19:21

  • Luke 3:10-12

  • Luke 4:18-19

  • Luke 6:35

  • Luke 10:25-37

  • Acts 28:2

  • Galatians 5:22-23

  • Colossians 3:12-14

  • Hebrews 13:2

  • James 1:27

  • Jude verses 20-23