By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: 1 Corinthians, chapter 13
Today is the birthday of John Wesley, born on this day in 1703. Whenever people ask me why I am a Methodist, my response is John Wesley. He was an intriguing person. In terms of his inward spiritual life, he is considered a mystic, one who is deeply aware of God’s presence and encounters God in a personal way. In terms of his outward life, he was a social reformer and activist; a “pot-stirrer” one might even say. His abundant correspondence, his letter writing, gives witness to his desire to connect with other people and spiritually mentor them. Yet he was also excessively focused on his work: organized, structured and methodical.
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16
If you have ever taken the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, you might recall that there is a question on the inventory that asks you to select which of the two seem most appealing to you: justice or mercy.
I find that an interesting question because here’s my theory: as flawed, sinful human creatures, I think we generally want to receive mercy for ourselves and mete out justice for others. Here’s an example for you… You have a meeting at a local coffee shop on the same street you drove down two hours ago to get to the office. There’s no parking near the coffee shop and you notice that one car is in the same 2-hour parking space it was in when you drove to the office two hours ago. You are now running late and frantically trying to find a parking space. You mutter under your breath that whoever is in that spot has little regard for others and you find yourself silently hoping they get a parking ticket for their inconsideration. But on a different day you are about to leave a meeting at the same coffee shop when you see someone walk in who you’ve been trying to contact repeatedly in recent days and they have not returned your emails or texts. Aha, they are now a captive audience, but you only have five minutes left on your parking meter. Your conversation with them is important so you hope that, should a parking attendant come by, they will show some mercy. This, I suspect, is as good an explanation of human nature as any. Justice is a great cosmic concept. But, on a personal level, I’m definitely partial to mercy.
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