Mercy for My World and MySelf

Kyrie Eleison

hands_in_prayer

Praying for Mercy for My World and MySelf

By Beth Demme

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

It’s an old, old prayer from around the 300’s. This prayer is almost too simple in its construction. It is, perhaps, too Roman Catholic for someone like me who was raised in a Protestant church with an ingrained sense of pride for our Reformation heritage. We Protestants might even balk at the idea of praying in Greek, transliterated into Latin, preferring to rely only on our own language when communicating with God.

And yet, this prayer calls to me. Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

With these few words, I acknowledge my need for mercy and my belief that God will pour it out. I trust “in God’s infinite, inexhaustible mercy and compassion” as I place myself, with all my “strengths and weaknesses, in God’s hands.” (Pray-As-You-Go)

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, because I get it wrong so often.

I want to be a beacon, a lighthouse that sends the light of God’s love out into the world. I want to be the kind of person Jesus describes in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) when he says blessed are those:

  • who are humble;
  • who mourn their separation from God;
  • who never return evil, violence, or ugly words with more of the same;
  • who have a deep craving for God;
  • who love others as God loves them, taking action to show that love; and
  • who seek to make peace by helping others find wholeness.

I want to live this way, but can I? More and more I find these ideals clashing with each other in my life, and in my heart.

John Wesley says a Beatitude peacemaker “endeavors to calm the stormy spirits of men, to quiet their turbulent passions, to soften the minds of contending parties, and, if possible, reconcile them to each other.” (Sermon 23)

Maybe it’s only my Facebook News Feed, but it seems there are a lot of contending parties these days. And they seem increasingly incapable of reconciliation. It seems we all want to be heard, but no one wants to listen.

In the face of ingrained mistrust and hostile disagreement, how can I be humble and yet endeavor to build peace? [Twitter Link] How can I show love for humankind without hating those who do evil?

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

I ask for God’s mercy for my world, and myself.

I pray that God will calm the stormy spirit of my own heart and quiet my own turbulent passions so that I can be an agent of reconciliation, a peacemaker. I pray that I will speak out against injustice while endeavoring to truly hear those who advocate for it. Can I hear their fear? Can I hear their worry? How can I share God’s love, peace, and wholeness with them?

Am I brave enough to ask God to show me how to offer compassion to those who act unjustly instead of returning their evil, violence, or ugly words with more of the same?

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

Mercy for myself. Mercy for others. Mercy for this world, Mercy, mercy, mercy.

What about you? Do you pray the Kyrie? Is it part of the worship liturgy at your church? What does it mean to you to invite God’s mercy into your life? Tell me about it in the Comments, in an e-mail, or on Facebook and Twitter.


Listen Click here to hear a pronunciation of Kyrie Eleison.


More From Beth:

A Christian who loves to think, read, and laugh. A wife and mom with more love than I deserve. I have a passion for public speaking. I'm a licensed Methodist pastor, a blogger, and a lawyer, but wait ... there's more, I'm still figuring it all out.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments I deem offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Mercy for My World and MySelf

  1. Thanks for this post today Beth. I needed to hear it. The world seems to have gotten a lot more overwhelming, and doing the right thing seems doesn’t always have the clarity that it used to. I hope we all learn how to get through this… fast.