THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
MERCY AND COVENANT
God is faithful and merciful. As Ethan the Ezrahite proclaims:
“mercy and faithfulness march before you.” (Ps
89:15b). In His faithfulness and mercy, He establishes a covenant
with us, just as He did with David. “My mercy is established
forever; my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens.
I have made a covenant with my chosen one” (Ps 89:3-4a).
mercy affords us the forgiveness and blessings that we do
not deserve. God’s faithfulness assures us that He will
continue to be merciful, despite our transgressions and hardheartedness.
This is what covenant is about. The Almighty and holy God
enters into an intimate relationship with a sinful people.
God binds Himself! “Forever I will maintain my mercy
for him; my covenant with him stands firm.” (Ps 89:29).
Thus did God relate to Abraham, and to David, and now to us.
Zechariah prophesied: “Blessed be the Lord, the God
of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his
people. .... to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful
of his holy covenant and of the oath he swore to Abraham our
father” (Lk 1:68,72-73a).
do we relate to such a God? We need to realize and appreciate
the awesome mercy of God, how this brings us to salvation
and growth in holiness. We repent of sin and turn to Jesus
in faith. John the Baptist already showed the way, as he would
“give his people knowledge of salvation through the
forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of
our God” (Lk 1:77-78a). Because of God’s mercy,
we can move from darkness to light, from death to life, from
discord and disunity to peace. Thus “the daybreak from
on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness
and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path
of peace.” (Lk 1:78b-79).
of God’s mercy, we move from sin to righteousness. From
being estranged we draw ever closer to God. From being enslaved
by the evil one, we are freed. From the worship of false idols,
we come to worship of the one true God. Thus, “rescued
from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
is left for us to do? “I will sing of your mercy forever,
Lord, proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.”