Lord, help me to be merciful and gracious to all
3rd Week of Lent: Monday, 16th March 2020
2 Kgs. 5:1-15; Ps. 42(41):2,3; 43(42):3,4;
Lk. 4:24-30 (Ps Wk III)
People like to think that God plays favourites and that certain groups have a claim on God’s grace.
Naaman was the commander of the army that was Israel’s enemy, and yet God granted him healing through the prophet Elisha. Naaman was so grateful that he took baskets of soil back to his land so that he could worship the God of Israel. Compassion and mercy made a friend out of an enemy.
In Luke, people were scandalised that Jesus claimed to be the fulfilment of the prophecy from Isaiah. After all, they knew him — he was from their town. Nevertheless, Jesus recalled the story of Naaman, along with a similar account of a widow from Sidon — neither of them Israelites — to make a point.
God shows mercy to all. He also noted that a prophet is seldom thought well of by his people. Sometimes people outside the house of faith are more open and more grateful.
No one owns or controls God, and God does not play favourites but shows love and grace to all. Our world would be better off if we all realised that.
Lord, may I be merciful and gracious to all.