Kyrie Eleison: Lenten Devotional for Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Psalm 107: 1 O give thanks to the LORD, for God is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever.

At our Ash Wednesday service, we drew upon the wisdom of our Eastern Orthodox cousins in faith, who showed us a new understanding of the word “mercy.” In the words of Benjamin Williams in his book, Orthodox Worship:

“The word mercy in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos. This word has the same ultimate root as the old Greek word for oil, or more precisely, olive oil; a substance which was used extensively as a soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. The oil was poured onto the wound and gently massaged in, thus soothing, comforting and making whole the injured part. The Hebrew word which is also translated as eleos and mercy is hesed, and means steadfast love. The Greek words for ‘Lord, have mercy,’ are ‘Kyrie, eleison’ that is to say, ‘Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.’ Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal a very Western interpretation but to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children!”

How beautiful! What if we had a God who was less a judge, and more a divine doctor, tending to our wounds?

What space could we make for another source of healing in our lives? How could we be a source of healing to others?

Prayer: Oh, Divine Physician, may your divine mercy and lovingkindness heal our wounds. May we learn from your example and heal others and this world with the same mercy you show us. In the name of the most Holy Trinity, who has given us life, who has overcome death through the resurrection, and who has continued to sustain, provoke, and heal us, Amen.

–Rev. Shane Montoya