“… because of the tender mercy of our God” Luke 1.78
The words ‘tender mercy’ actually sound very nice and comforting. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In reality they are powerful words that convey something of the depth of God’s compassion for us.
The root of the word ‘tender’ actually signifies the stomach or bowels. In other words, it seeks to convey something of the uncontrollable depth of feeling that rises from deep within God, and not simply a gentle tenderness.
When we ponder the fact that God loves us, it is so easy to slip into thinking about his love for us in terms of gentle tenderness - the sense that God thinks nice thoughts about us from time to time! The reality is that God’s deep and passionate love for each of us led him to act outrageously in order to express it; he gave us Jesus.
Take a moment right now to acknowledge God’s love for you. You may find it helpful to think about someone whom you love, and see this as a reflection of the love that God has for you. Rest in his love. Don't worry if you don't feel that you deserve it, or have done nothing to earn it, but let these words resonate within you: 'God loved me so much, he gave me Jesus'.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission