James 2:12, 13 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
“You who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.” So sang Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young back in the 1970’s. They were right, I think. Everybody needs a standard by which they act and evaluate those actions. Humans instinctively think some things are right and others are wrong though they may not agree on exactly what falls into each category. James proposes here that there are two basic ways of going about life. There is judgement where an individual appraises themselves and others creating a scale as to who is better than or good enough (usually you and me- though I am not always sure about you). According to James, judgement brings judgement. The other way is mercy where we are all off the scale, failures in that sense, but are accepted through love though we can’t find criteria by which we deserve it. His conclusion: Mercy triumphs over judgement. Mercy wins. I’m not really sure what that totally looks like but I want to be in a position to see it as it unfolds. We do see it on the cross. This week, where can you see mercy win?