Mercy over Judgement

What would it look like for mercy to prevail over judgement? I have been spending some time reflecting on this question in light of the Year of Mercy and the Season of Advent when we prepare the way for the Lord, in our lives and in our world. At the heart of it for me there is this sense that it is easier to enforce rules and make judgements then it is to be merciful towards those who may constantly break or bend rules – or do things I don’t understand. It is also more expedient to cast judgement over a whole class of people than it is to consider each person as an individual. All of this comes together of course when we listen to the current political dialogue. Whether the conversation is about homeless people, refugees, whole classes of people, or those “others” who are different, judgement is much more prevalent than mercy.

Mercy asks us to operate more out of love and less out of the need to enforce rules or appearances. Judgement can be quick and decisive but mercy begs for time and relationship. To be merciful puts me in another’s shoes, hearing their story, seeking healing or help rather than a verdict. Mercy does not negate law, it creates an environment of hope and healing.   Maranatha.


Valerie   Contact me at    503-232-5880 or (

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