Friday, September 13, 2013

Five-Minute Friday: Mercy

Back on the 5MF bandwagon! Spent the evening planning a Day-of-Atonement-themed prayer mini-retreat tomorrow, so the brain is only firing in one direction right now--with the exception of it's now-immediate direction: that of bed!


Sovereignty has no borders, and so it's not even surprising when I remember to look up the word, when I know the Day of At-One-Ment began as the sun slid below the mountains, and the word is "mercy." One of those words too holy to speak, like we should condense it, should throw away the pen. How can we even look for it, when we aren't good enough to give it? When Peter came out of the water, his brothers still hauling in the net, a Lord he'd denied and known to be dead standing before him, I don't think the word was on his lips, though it coursed through his veins. It's perhaps my favorite story--all the more because it isn't told, because it's too personal for even that man, who would bare everything else, to share with all humanity. The moment when a slaughtered lamb, having purified in one final at-one-ment, would take him by the shoulder, would smile, wait for Peter's eyes, and say the word only He has authority to speak.


Explanatory notes: 
- My nerdy English major self was almost disappointed at the simplicity of the etymology of "atonement." Literally being made "at one," esp. with God. 16th century.

- Peter's conversation with Jesus is, to some degree, assumed. I first heard a reference to it in a Beth Moore study (I forget which), and Beth is very frustrated that we don't get every detail of dialogue and body language. But I'm appreciate of the privacy granted there--as I am appreciate of the privacy He's granted me in times of utter brokenness. Piecing together Luke 24:34 and John 21:1-8, it's a fair guess that Peter had some alone time to talk, cry, repent, be at-oned. Mark Driscoll makes the point that the only difference between Peter and Judas was that Peter took his sin to the Christ and Judas took his to the grave. How fitting then that Peter would exhort the same of others, especially in his early preaching (Acts 2:38-40).


  1. Wow, that is beautiful writing, and alot more than I bargained for from an FMF post!

  2. "- My nerdy English major self was almost disappointed at the simplicity of the etymology of "atonement." Literally being made "at one," esp. with God. 16th century."

    Further evidence that we are blood relatives. I was totally thinking it had some fancy Latin root that I had forgotten. But no!

    P.S. with your reference to Mark Driscoll, it reminded me that I just saw that Karen is a speaker at a conference soon up in ye olde Canada...that's pretty sweet! Although I fear dear Mark Driscoll will say something snotty about their whole conference. While I appreciate a lot of Mr. Driscoll's insights, he can be a bit of a--well--jerk face sometimes, particularly when it comes to making off the cuff remarks. I'll be interested to hear how it all pans out. Then again, I can't help but wonder if the apostle Paul was also seen as a bit of a jerkface himself. I think Barnabas must have been easier company than Paul.

  3. You gave me chills. So true and I'd never thought about it that way before. I have heard Mark Batterson use that illustration before and it's so telling, because we're all human and our human nature will cause us to turn either one way or the other and there really is no difference among us. But to be atoned for... at-one... wow. Love it.