To God Be the Glory
In a culture that can make heroes out of people who champion the cause of the poor, we must remember that this truth about our mutuality of brokenness is critical. The temptation to take God's glory for ourselves is as old as the Garden of Eden. One way of discovering the seeds of this temptation in our hearts is to examine who we are and are not willing to extend mercy to.
While my neighborhood is largely filled with wonderful, hard-working people, there is also a very present and visible minority who are known and feared, and even despised by many. Drug dealers, pimps, gang members, and prostitutes are not abstract concepts or Hollywood characters on my block. They are my neighbors. Do I truly believe that I deserve mercy and grace no more than they do? Only when we truly answer this question will we be able to move toward understanding that the mercy we extend to others is given regardless of merit, because the grace and mercy we receive is equally undeserved.
—Jamie Arpin-Ricci leads Little Flower community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is part of an Anglican lay order in the Franciscan tradition. Taken from The Cost of Community; copyright 2011 by Jamie Arpin-Ricci. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press.