This past Sunday in my sermon I leaned heavily on the wisdom of Anne Lamott as I explored the nature of mercy as it relates to the practices we immerse ourselves in during Holy Week. Here’s her definition of what mercy looks like:
“Mercy is radical kindness. Mercy means offering or being offered aid in desperate straits. Mercy is not deserved. It involves absolving the unabsolvable and forgiving the unforgivable. Mercy brings us to the miracle of apology, given and accepted, to unashamed humility when we have erred or forgotten…. The idea of accepting life as it presents itself and doing goodness anyway…. Yes, because in the words of Candi Staton’s great gospel song, “hallelujah anyway.” Hallelujah that in spite of it all, there is love, there is singing, nature, laughing, mercy.”
As we prepare to gather for worship over these next few days, may we do so for Love’s sake, for mercy’s sake, and, with the desire to proclaim the resurrection on Easter Day, with voices joined in joyful hallelujah.
Onward in Hope,
Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway—Rediscovering Mercy.
(Riverhead Books, 2017) p.176ff
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.