‘God requires our mercy, not our sacrifice.’ These words have been ringing in my ears this past week. I spoke them during my message on the Transfiguration of Christ, last Sunday, and they have become sort of an earworm. “What does the LORD require, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God,” says Micah 6:4. We have just begun the season of Lent, the forty days in which we are invited to journey with Jesus toward Jerusalem and the cross.

Many people have the practice of giving something up for Lent, and this practice, by the way, is not just for Catholics, everyone is invited to give something up for Lent. What then if we thought of this practice not as a sacrifice but one of mercy. Mercy toward our own self. God certainly does not need our sacrifice. The reason why we engage in spiritual practices such as fasting, praying, confession, or ‘giving something up’, is to make more room for God. It is simply to fill up ourselves with the Holy One who is LOVE. These practices during Lent might just become a practice for a lifetime. What if we continually made room for God, aka Love, Mercy, Grace, Peace, Joy, Forgiveness, Generosity, Inclusion, Hospitality, Wisdom, in our hearts and in our minds. This is what a spiritual practice does for us, it makes room. Some call this a sacrifice, but I see it more as mercy for our souls and spirit. This Lent, I hope that you make space for the love of God, our creator who desires only that you do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.
The prayer below is a blessing, from the Iona Community, that we will hear and meditate on during the Lenten season at Roots of Life. Perhaps it will speak to you the gift of mercy.

- Noblesville’s Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at pastor@rolcommunity.com, on Facebook or at www.rolcommunity.com