How "Mercy Season" works
SYNC replaces plausible conventional wisdom with counter-intuitive truth. Some of this is simple. Some of it may rock your world and take years to have its full effect. All of it has to do with how you see yourself in Christ. For starters, see below.
Aug. 7-Sept. 18, 2018
This is a Day of Atonement, and we have mercy.
What it means
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the holiest day in the Jewish year. Special atonement sacrifices were made for the nation on that day. Christ is our atonement because he sacrificed his life. When we declare a day as a "Day of Atonement," we are bringing his ancient sacrifice into the present.
Does "and we have mercy" mean we possess mercy or we have mercy on others? Both. Mercy cannot end with us. We either pass it on or forfeit it. People who have received mercy are sent on a mission of mercy for the rest of their lives.
How it brings security and significance
Our security is total since Christ totally sealed it with his sacrifice. Our significance is that we show mercy others, breaking sin’s power to reproduce itself in a vicious cycle.
The sneaky cultural assumption it exposes
The idea that what is wrong with the world is a few bad people and groups, and we ought to shame, punish, and oppose them.
Truth and plausibility in the assumption
Like apples, a very few bad people can spoil a lot of things for everybody. It is not good to tolerate that spoilage or pretend it is not serious.
God’s corrections to the assumption
The real problem is not a few bad people. It is the badness in all us “good” people. When we see that and accept Christ's mercy and sacrifice, we are changed and we start showing mercy even to the “bad” people. That’s how evil loses control of the world. The "good" people accept God's mercy and become merciful people.
The philosophical lie this declaration exposes
If you don’t stand up for yourself, you will get trampled. If you forgive, you are giving bad people a license to do whatever they want.
The insecurity and suffering the lie brings if not exposed
Resentment, bitterness, revenge, violence, psychoses, withdrawal
Response in our character if we understand the above
Graciousness. It is so staggering when we realize what Christ's mercy did for us that we never really get over it. We are blown away. We become different people, much more understanding and forgiving of others.