Door of Mercy

Ronni and I had the opportunity to travel to Italy last January. Every aspect of the trip was incredible, but my favorite… Rome. Imagining the early followers of Jesus walking in the same places somehow made all I have read in the Scriptures seem more real.

The last day of our trip we spent in the Vatican. Beautiful paintings and sculptures were everywhere.

I am fascinated by traditions and history of other denominations and religions, especially the Catholic church. As we passed through the entrance to the Vatican and turned right, one of the first things our tour guide showed us was this.

Our tour guide went on to explain this thing we were looking at is a door called the Door of Jubilee. Basically it stays boarded up and is only opened every fifty years or at a time the Pope feels God is calling the church to open the door. It represents sanctuary (think Hunch Back of Notre Dame) and is a symbol of all Jesus did to set us free.

Today, December 8, 2015, the Pope has declared the beginning of a year of Extraordinary Jubilee. The church will actually open up the door to begin this year. The focus for the Catholic church: mercy. I heard someone define mercy once as “not getting what we deserve.” This is the message of Advent. Jesus entering our world as an infant, frail and vulnerable. He becomes the very door of mercy that leads us into the Father’s presence. He is freedom and grace and mercy all wrapped in skin.

Those of us who have been blessed to experience His love and the wonder of Advent have a responsibility. It is our job to share mercy with those in our homes, community, and world. Each of us following the leading of the Holy Spirit can offer mercy to the hungry, the orphaned and especially the lost. We can offer what others don’t deserve just because we’ve received the gift ourselves. This is the most precious gift of the season.

May we celebrate and rejoice in the mercy Jesus poured over us this season.

Stacy Boyer — 2015

Lord, thank You for Your mercy.
Open my heart as a door of mercy to others.

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