Psalm 51: 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Two things occur to me in relationship to these verse. First, we often hear a desire for a punishment that fits the crime. The court case of Derek Chauvin (the former police officer charged with murder in connection with the death of George Floyd) comes to mind, particularly as closing arguments are set to begin today. There is a public demand for “justice”, that if found guilty, Mr. Chauvin would receive a just punishment.
In the verses above King David prays that God would judge him, not through the lens of “justice”, but through the lens of God’s mercy and steadfast love. I find this is also my prayer. I am most certainly guilty of sin against God and people.
The second thing that occurs to me is our Christian calling to treat others with the same mercy and love we first receive from God through Jesus Christ. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” What would that look like in the case of Mr. Chauvin?
Lord give us grace to respond to others according to mercy and grace rather than judgment. Amen.