Mercy and truth have met…

“Mercy and truth have met; justice and peace have kissed.” Psalm 85:10

Mercy. Truth. Justice. Peace.

Mercy, as in showing compassion when it is within your power to punish.

Truth, as in what is genuinely based in reality.

Justice, as in righteousness or moral rightness.

Peace, as in Shalom, signifying completeness, wholeness and wellbeing.

Here mercy, truth, justice and peace not only belong together but as declared ty the psalmist, they meet and embrace.

In this Season of Advent but in the wake of an escalating pandemic, economic peril, perpetual chaos and disquieting uncertainty – if seemingly oppositional qualities of mercy AND truth, justice AND peace were brought together – what might that look like or be?

When reflecting on this, I kept fast forwarding from when this psalm was written to the time of the Gospel of John’s composition, centuries later. This particular Gospel does not open quietly. If anything, the writer begins by making an audacious if not thunderous claim, unequivocally stating, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In other words, if you and I sought to come up with one element of speech or writing that would be the culmination of all that is merciful, all that is true, all that is just and all that is peaceable – it would be this singular WORD.

“The Word became flesh,” wrote John’s author and then added a few verses later, “…from his fullness we have received grace upon grace.” Perhaps even as we long for the coming of the Beloved One of God – we will discover rest in the singularity of this wondrous WORD that became flesh and dwelt amongst us. That through his fullness, we can at last taste the unfathomable riches of mercy, the assurance of truth, the equimity of justice and the sweet splendor of peace.

May it be so.

[1] Image from Crosswalknapa.org

Author: Jessica McArdle

These are dark and corrosive times. As a writer and ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, I use prayer, poetry, reflection, and scripture to re-align our embattled spirits with the uniqueness and urgency of our God-given identity and call.

4 thoughts on “Mercy and truth have met…”

    1. Thank you, Maren. In one of my favorite movies, Babette’s Feast, Psalm 85:10 is used at the beginning and reflected upon at the end and the culmination of a feast lovingly prepared.

Leave a Reply to Jessica McArdle Cancel reply