Like the other six SYNC rhythms, the Roots Rhythm 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 it. In this case God's game-changer is his voluntary, out-of-the-blue promise to Abraham to create a nation through him that will bless the entire world. (Gen. 12.1-3)
Loving the "Roots" rhythm
Imagine Jesus after his resurrection walking back into the court that wrongfully convicted him and asking, "Can you hear me now? It's pay-back time."
Why didn't he seize his golden opportunity? Because he was not on a pay-back mission. His was a mercy mission, designed to multiply mercy and its messengers.
Pay-back time is coming for those who tried to stop him, but not yet. We are all living in a grace period. So catch the spirit of Mercy Season, start celebrating, and spread the word!
You will know who you are, and you will like what you are becoming under the influence of Jesus' mercy--a forgiveness agent. You will "See Yourself iN Christ," and people will see Christ's mercy in you.
Like the other six SYNC rhythms, the Mercy Rhythm 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 it. 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.
And his mercy strategy works! It blows us away, in a good sense. We don't have to fear God's judgment any more. We don't have to feel guilty or try to make up for the ways we have failed him. He has stamped "PAID IN FULL" on all the documents that described how much we owed him as restitution for our sins. We never get over that once it truly hits us.
Mercy Season celebrates the implications of that fantastic fact.
We know who we are--people forgiven because Jesus paid for us with his own blood
We know why we are here--to spread that forgiveness so it heals and transforms the world
We know we cannot lose--no force can undo or invalidate the sacrifice Jesus made
There is only one catch to this whole thing. We have to forgive other people. Mercy only works for us if we pass it on to others. If we think we can work the system, get mercy from God but not be changed by it inside, we forfeit the mercy we otherwise would have received. (Matthew 6.14-15)
Living as forgiveness agents
As we realize what it means that Jesus paid our sin debt with his own blood, we start seeing ourselves in Christ as forgiveness agents, and we pray prayers like this:
King Jesus, our great High Priest, thank you so much for paying for our sins with your blood. We are too grateful for words. Thank you for authorizing us as your forgiveness agents. People need your message so badly. They need to get over things they can't get over by themselves. They need your peace to replace their guilt, shame, and anxiety. Please let your mercy keep working in us. May we never let you down as we do our work, never take revenge even indirectly. Let your mercy spill over from us and bless the whole world, just as you intended when you paid the ultimate price for us all.
Of course, we were not made forgiveness agents because we were any better than anyone else to start with or because we worked hard and earned this position somehow. No, we were totally ordinary. But now that the Spirit has moved into us, we will never be ordinary again.
No one else has to stay ordinary either. Ever since the game-changer when Jesus presented his own blood in the heavenly Temple, his mercy is available to all those who say "Yes" to him as King. It doesn't matter how bad we used to be or how terrible we feel about it. In fact, the worse we were, the better it is now! It takes a big dose of mercy to heal a bad person, but that means a big dose of gratitude, and that grateful person will talk to everybody about it.
Mercy Season (August 7-October 8) is the time to re-SYNC with the Mercy Rhythm. Remember who we are. Remember how we got here. And act like it--grateful to God, living mercifully, passing on the forgiveness message, and pointing people to Jesus as the source of it all.