An article in winter 2018 Lutherans Engage magazine highlighted the work of Rev. Eddie Hosch in Lima, Peru. Part of this ministry there includes a Casa de Misericordia (House of Mercy), a safe place where children can come after school or at other times to be with other children and learn more about Jesus.
Hosch says, “I love the kids. The opportunities here are huge to share the Gospel in a simple way: a lunch, a hug, friendship. All allowing us to teach the children the Word of God.”
This house of mercy works with the prayer that the Word of God will produce faith in these children and their parents and will help them to see Christ’s mercy at work in their lives.
This Casa de Misericordia is a wonderful model for us to follow in our own lives. How can each of our homes be houses of mercy to show others the mercy of Christ? How can we establish our churches as being houses of mercy for those who are in need in our community/
Many programs already exist along these lines with food pantries and clothing drives in many parishes. But what I think is important to foster is the sense that our homes and our churches are safe and loving places to come for help. God in his mercy did not turn people away from his love in Jesus, and we should convey our willingness to be of service to those around us who are truly in need.
I like Hosch’s idea of sharing mercy in simple ways. Maybe it is a wave at your neighbor or an invitation to chat on your front porch. Maybe it is just putting your arm around someone you know is struggling at church. Perhaps it is just saying “You are safe here” to someone who is living in fear.
Several years ago Pope Francis declared a year of mercy, and my recommendation to you this week is to declare this a week of mercy in your own home and see what happens.
Use this as your theme verse:
God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. —Ephesians 2:4-5
Be alive with Christ’s mercy this week!