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01/01/2012

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Debra Circle, First Presbyterian Church of Farmington MI

Debra Circle discusses each lesson. One person takes notes on the discussion and writes a confession which is reviewed by the whole circle. Our fifth confession follows for Confessing the Beatitudes Lesson 5: Greatly Honored Are Those Who Show Mercy!

We confess that God is merciful as demonstrated by Jesus who was consistently merciful to everyone he met during his lifetime on earth.

We confess that being merciful can become a dilemma in today’s life when we confront HOW to be merciful in individual situations. Do we give someone money just because they say they need it? Are they being honest about their needs? Will we be enabling bad habits if we help, if we show mercy? Maybe we shouldn’t give money but should give food or goods, the wherewithal, time, and resources. Do we stop to help someone who has car trouble? Helping someone drive who can’t drive sometimes results in being on call for an indefinite period of time. Maybe if we heard more examples on the news of people helping one another, we would feel more confident about being more spontaneous. It is unfortunate that we are bombarded with so much negative information because the media believe that the sensational, mostly the appalling, is all anyone wants to hear. We are taught to be afraid, to be very afraid.

During our circle’s discussion, we related several stories about local people helping others spontaneously:
At a retirement community, a woman saw a man lying in the street. She parked her car, put her coat over him, and went to find his wife. And now she is planning to visit him.
A Seven-Eleven was being robbed, but the customer continued to enter the store to check on the clerk and scared the robbers away when they saw the customer coming into the store.
Rita, an elderly woman in our church, had car trouble in downtown Detroit. She stopped at a place full of black men. One man, while walking out to help her, asked, “Are you afraid of me?” and she answered him back, “No. Are you afraid of me?”

We confess we are called to be merciful. We do find ways of showing mercy through our church outreach and mission work; and our church has many missions. Just last month, our church housed a group of thirty homeless people for a week, providing all meals, transportation, entertainment, and daily needs. For the many volunteers, it is a spiritually inspiring experience.

Our study challenges us to think globally. We pray that God will help us to open our minds to visualize what showing mercy would be like on a global scale.

Stephanie Morris

Thanks so much for all who are using the Blog and helping to spread the good word about the Beatitudes Bible Study.

Dixie Loy

I use your blogs for understanding the Beatitudes in many ways. Thanks for being so up to date and timely throughout this study Margaret. God's blessings Dixie Sierra Blanca Presbytery...

Mary Dusenberry

Thank you for this blog. I will forward it to my Bible leaders.

Ingrid

AWESOME

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