Fifty-eight years on earth and five years in the Church and I've learned some things.
There is nothing wrong with being politically conservative. The challenge is to be merciful as well as obedient.
There is nothing wrong with being politically liberal. The challenge is to be obedient as well as merciful.
We can't say that obedience and mercy are at odds because they are unified and perfected in the person of Jesus Christ. We can't say that in our time they are impossible to reconcile, not unless we wish to rid ourselves of the promise and the reward of being Christian: eternal life.
Can we ask, what is eternal life? Put another way, can we view eternal life in the light of conflict or at least challenges in our daily life? We can say that eternal life, when merited, is union with the will of God in whom mercy and obedience are perfectly reconciled. Because we know that God is perfect and has promised us eternal life if we are obedient to his will and merciful as He is merciful, we know that mercy and obedience, obedience and mercy, are reconcilable.
This gives one pause or it should. It certainly puts our political and reactive/reactionary tendencies to shame.
Or it should.
Or maybe not.
There are worse things in life than living it well, in fighting for what you believe in, making mistakes along the way. Apologizing, learning, fighting some more. Erring yet again. Carrying on. trying harder. Falling. Picking yourself up. Saying you're sorry. Arguing some more. Et cetera....
Christ fell three times on the way to Calvary. We can expect to fall, fall, and fall, again and again. So this blog is not a lesson about how easy to reconcile mercy and obedience. It isn't easy at all, and we have political parties that prove getting everyone to agree is a very difficult task. But that is no reason to despair. Our faith is nothing if not dynamic, a living faith, a whirlwind of joy and sadness, epiphany and despair.
So be merciful that you may come to question your obedience. Be obedient that you may wonder at mercy. Strive that you may live to fall, fall again and again. And never lose faith in the will of God. Never lose your heart.