Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2 NIV
February 28th is a special day for Pam and I. 35 years ago on this date, she and I said “I do” in front of nearly 400 people. It has been the most blessed journey for each of us. 24 years ago, our youngest daughter Melody was also born on this date. We have been sharing our anniversary and birthday with grateful hearts.
I love the greetings and salutations in the Bible. Jude mentions three words which sustain relationships throughout the years.
Mercy implies the need for forgiveness. True relationships involve the mess of hurt feelings and misunderstandings. The extension of mercy and forgiveness to another helps create the bond of commitment toward one another. I can hear someone saying to me as they are reading this, “Yea, but we fight all of the time. I don’t think we are compatible. I’m tired of all of the arguing.” Mercy brings life to both relationships. The need for mercy brings us to the second wording, Peace.
Peace is not the absence of bad weather or problems, it is the calmness God gives during the storms. A soft answer turns away wrath. God has given you your spouse and trusted relationships to learn how to ratchet down conversations to a peaceful level. It’s not just being quiet, it’s learning to validate the other person, to listen with empathy, to pursue peace at all times. These are the actions which produce love.
Love is definitely more than a feeling according to the Bible. The Old Testament called it “hesed” or lovingkindness. It is a term of commitment being woven together so tightly you can’t tell which part is holding it together. Life will test the weave and it will feel as if it is going to break at times. But Love chooses to stay and make the other person the object of their affection. The other is a person valued, honored, appreciated, one worth serving, listening to with affection, and spoken of with high praises.
Jude speaks this blessing, this greeting with the expectation of growth. May each of these be yours in abundance. Today, I bless each of you with these expanding attributes in and over your life. May you give and receive mercy, may you experience an ever increasing peace in your life. May you know the joy of loving and being loved.
Blessings love y’all