Instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” Mark 6:19
I heard the above verse at church on Sunday. It was already starred and underlined in my Bible, though, from previous readings. Probably because I was away from home for so many years.
BUT… five years ago, God saw fit to return me to my hometown. My Nativity. And this past Sunday, the last portion really stood out. Report how He has had mercy on you.
Go and tell. Family. Neighbors. Those in my hometown. My friends. And so I shall.
Two years ago, I was seeking a Christmas heart. I set my course for Jesus and found Him. Or rather, He came to me. Right in my bedroom. It was January 31, 2014.
I’d been holding something from my past for much too long. Two incidents. Something I’d done and regretted. But God directed me to Jeremiah 31:20 and I knew in my heart of hearts He’d forgiven me. That was the day I was set free from my sin…
Therefore, My inner being yearns for him; I will truly have compassion on him.
It’s there in “truly have compassion.” I looked it up and discovered it’s the ONLY place in the Bible where mercy is squared. Twice. Mercy + Mercy. For the two things I’d been carrying.
See it… 7355 + 7355. Mercy plus Mercy.
That was the day I knew I was forgiven for my past. No doubt about it. And later in the day, God’s mercy was underscored for the doctor confirmed my pregnancy was viable.
There was a heartbeat.
And honestly, I thought there’d be two heartbeats. Twins. Two for two.
Point being, God had great mercy on me. A sinner. That’s what Christmas is really about. And on Sunday, I heard Him say go and tell your people how I had mercy on you.
Funny thing about Christmas this year… the above didn’t make the cut for decorating. I’d used it for years but never really saw what it said till a week ago.
“Friends are Christmas”
I was outraged when I saw it. I thought “I’m not putting this out! This is not the reason for the season!” However, after reading something I blogged two years ago, I think I’ve changed my mind. I’ve stepped down off my high horse…
Because though friends are not really Christmas, they should be part of it. Our family and friends should be important enough to share the good news with.
As we read in Mark 6, we should report to them how God had mercy on us. And mercy came down in the form of an infant. It’s what the nativity depicts. Mercy in a manger.
The most humble of beginnings…
Then her neighbors and relative heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy, and they rejoiced with her. Luke 1:58