I hope Kenneth Steven’s Book, “Coracle” has known increased sales figures since I started blogging! I have mentioned it at least twice before. In one of the poems in that collection he speaks of men collecting agates from a ploughed field to take home for cutting and polishing to bring out their hidden beauty. However as they make their way out of the field, the “narrator” in the poem starts to think that perhaps the best stones are maybe still lying out there, undiscovered.
It is a thought worth musing upon. We live in an age where people are discovered through talent (?) shows and so on, but it stands to reason there are perhaps better musicians, singers, comedians etc. than have yet been discovered. Probably somewhere there is someone who can run faster than Usain Bolt, but no one knows about them and maybe never will. Probably someone can hit a golf ball further than Donald Trump. (Oh hang on a minute, lots of folk can! Sorry Donald you will need to find another reason why you should be President.) Probably there are treasures under the desert sand somewhere that are greater than the ones found in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
I think the more I follow the Lord the more I discover fresh treasure. It is not so much it has been discovered by no one else, but more and more I discover treasures that other believers from other traditions have learned to appreciate, but I have not
I was thinking about that today. I don’t really follow the Church/Christian Year as such but I might be converted, at least temporarily, to give it a try. What might push me into that is discovering today what some of you out there already know; yesterday, the second Sunday of Easter, is called “Divine Mercy Sunday” by those who give particular Sundays a particular focus.
I don’t think for a minute that those who do delight in the Church /Christian Year mean that God’s mercy is not available every other Sunday or every other day for that matter. But I guess giving a Sunday a name like that acts upon a truth like the banks of a river which focus the flow of water giving it added strength and power. Whatever, I cannot think of a better name for the Second Sunday of Easter than “Divine Mercy Sunday.” Mercy was much needed after Easter! It was needed by Thomas who disbelieved what Jesus had clearly and repeatedly said about the resurrection. It was needed by Peter who disowned Jesus. It was needed by the confused disciples who as they walked to Emmaus were increasingly damaging one another with a toxic despair… they needed help for they were not helping one another at all.
Perhaps today you need the Spirit of God via this blog to focus your thoughts on divine mercy. As I write this today, I find myself thinking of a mistake I used to make as a new believer, which I continued to make for years. The mistake was that when I was aware I had gotten it wrong in my discipleship, I felt I had to prove myself by getting it right for a few days before I could expect the Lord to welcome me or receive me, forgive me or help me. I can’t remember the day on which I suddenly saw that it is precisely when I sin that I need to come to Jesus afresh for mercy, nor can I remember the particular sin that became the route to that revelation. But this truth, of coming right away to God for mercy struck me with the force of a mighty river as I was going upstairs in the manse, and so right there and then on the stairs I got down on my knees and said to Jesus, “Jesus, I need you right now.”
I have found that going on my knees to confess my need of mercy is a good thing. I used to kneel for a bad reason only, namely when I was begging the Lord to let me out of something I knew he wanted me to do but I did not want to do! I have found that going on my knees when I need mercy brings me a beautiful sense of the Lord’s nearness. It is clear throughout the bible that worship involves our bodies, not just out cerebral thoughts or sung words. Going on our knees in humility, asking for mercy is a good thing. Do you need to find a place to kneel today, in fact this very minute?
The only bodily movement I see involved in worship in many churches trying to do things differently from usual is a sort of sloppy sauntering out to get a coffee and a cake and sauntering back in again, presumably an indicator of how relaxed I am with God and what good buddies this particular church and the Almighty God are. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that perhaps for many of us in the more Evangelical or Charismatic wing of the Church, God’s mercy is no longer something we receive with awe. In Isaiah’s experience, mercy came after a feeling of being completely undone before the Lord’s holy eyes. (Isaiah Chapter 6.) The particular thing he was convicted of was the sins he committed with his mouth, unclean language. It may be that too many “OMG’s” have escaped your lips, or language of a type which the bible explicitly says are not to be a part of a believer’s speech. It seems to be becoming common as we dismiss more and more of the bible’s instructions to believers as being “religious.” Have we forgotten there is a religion God likes and that pleases him, part of which is keeping ourselves pure and unspotted? There is a religion that proves a relationship we may claim to have with God is real. Sins of the tongue may or may not be why you most need mercy. It might be something completely different. But coffee, cake and “OMG’s” are becoing so common that they are the new demand for Christians who want to be really up to date, which seems to mean being as like the world as I can be but still be saved. There seems little space for bowing of the knee or even falling as one dead before the glory of the Lord.
Do those from more obviously liturgical traditions have some treasure to share as yet undiscovered by those of us, like me myself, who have had little contact with that way of doing things? Why not find a place and a posture that shows you are taking the joyful news of God’s mercy seriously? Perhaps you need to find that place and posture right now!
PS – You are very welcome to enjoy these blogs and share them with anyone “without money or price!” However, if you ever feel grateful for these blogs and are able to do so, then please make a donation to Open Doors, Scotland. Their website is
In case you have not heard of them, Open Doors works to help our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.