Getting into the spirit of the season
Jesus stood for truth and goodness, never broke a rule or a promise, never did a thing wrong, but got tortured and executed anyway! No one in history ever had more right to take revenge than he did, but he did not use that right.
Instead he accepted his execution as his role in God's ancient plan to restore humanity. He even asked God to forgive his killers!
As you ponder his agonizing self-sacrifice, you will like what you are becoming--a person who has received mercy and has mercy to share. So get into the spirit of Mercy Season, using whatever methods you like under the "How to SYNC" tab.
In 2018, Mercy Season is August 7 - September 18, that is, from the day after the Feast of the Transfiguration (end of Power Season) to the climax on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Here are some basics about the season. Don't get lost in the details. Read a little. SYNC a lot.
Your goal during Mercy Season
To receive mercy and to have mercy on others.
That is how you prepare to celebrate the Day of Atonement, the final day of Mercy Season. Clean the slate. Hold nothing against anyone, and let the forgiveness of Christ heal all those wounds you are not going to avenge. Pure joy!
Mercy Declaration to get on your mind
This is a Day of Atonement, and we have mercy.
Note: Start each day in Mercy Season by making this Declaration. As a person in SYNC with Jesus, you are authorized to declare this, so use your authority. Shape your world. Make your day.
Mercy Prayer that SYNCs us with the Declaration
Make us a channel of your mercy, Lord. We'll forgive. We'll forgive. We'll forgive. (Note: the Declaration and Prayer are on the Mercy Season meme.)
The symbolic color for Mercy Season is blood red, representing Christ's blood that mercifully brings our forgiveness. The meme shows this clearly. The icon for the season is a sacrificial altar, reminding us of the heavenly altar where Christ made our atonement.
The big idea behind the Mercy Declaration
If God shows us mercy, we have to pass it on. We must be merciful. The Declaration commits us to forgive.
The other six SYNC declarations only talk about what we receive, not what we do. For example, "This is a Pentecost Day, and we have power."
But mercy is different. If we don't show mercy, we don't receive it (Mt. 6.14-15). The Mercy Declaration helps us get that straight.
As we show mercy, we stymy evil. It cannot reproduce itself in evil reactions. It cannot multiply and get out of hand, as it does if it is not forgiven.
Christ is defeating evil as we show mercy. His forgiveness of us empowers us to forgive others. His takeover of the world rolls on.
Showing mercy does not mean we are saying that the wrongs were not serious. They may have been horrible, and we are not glossing over them when we forgive.
Forgiveness is a choice about how we react to wrongs, even those that were horrible. We choose not to retaliate but to absorb the wrong so it ends with us.
Of course, we do not have what it takes to absorb wrongs, but Christ does. His atonement heals us from all the damage the wrongs do when we absorb them. Christ's sacrificial blood neutralizes and kills the power of the wrongs.
Healed by Christ's atonement, our wounds don't fester like unforgiven wrongs do. Those can hurt for years or even for a lifetime.
Daily, weekly, and holiday options
Key mercy story
Christ's one-time atonement in the heavenly Temple, Heb. 9.1-14
Key mercy phrase in the Lord's Prayer
"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" (or “Don't make us pay for wronging you like we don't make people pay for wronging us.")
Key mercy verse in the New Testament
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Mt. 6.14-15 (NLT)
Key mercy verse in the Old Testament
"But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed." Is. 53.5 (NLT)
Like all the other SYNC seasons, Mercy Season links you, your world, and your day today back to something huge God has done.
To "SYNC" with that God-thing means to align yourself with God's intentions when he did that thing. In this case the God-thing is that Jesus Christ presented his own blood on a sacrificial altar in heaven (Heb. 9.1-14). Acting as our High Priest, he changed our status before God in a way we could never have changed it.
What did he intend by doing that? He intended to change the world. It is another key step in his master plan to bring humanity back up to the level it was created for.
Instead of taking a top-down approach, starting with governments and nations, he uses a bottom-up approach, showing mercy to ordinary people and leveraging them to spread his forgiveness. What a "take-over" plan!
God uses this method (which on the surface looks pretty lame) instead of doing it like we would if we could--using raw power to blast our way ahead and force our plan to work. God's merciful method allows him to execute his plan without the collateral damage that all other plans for a perfect world always have.