This week's readings have the recurring theme of God's inclusive mercy for all. In Isaiah, we read that "the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant--these I will bring to my holy mountain..." (Isaiah 56:6). "Foreigner" is not a label that disqualifies one from coming to God, provided that the actions of that foreigner are what God requires in his servants. In Romans, Paul says that God is "merciful to all." Our Gospel reading ends with Jesus marveling at the faith of an outsider, a woman from another culture, and granting her request for healing. Let us not be quick to look at appearances and judge "who's in" and "who's out." God extends his redemptive love to every person who comes in faith, and we need to have the same mercy and expansive grace in our lives, our interactions, and our witness.
This week, we'll sing a song I wrote based on Psalm 68. It talks of God's mercy and provision: for the poor, the lonely, the orphans, and the widows.
Another newer song that we'll be singing is one called "Your Great Name":
Looking forward to celebrating God's extravagant mercy and love with you on Sunday!