“We worship at your feet, where wrath and mercy meet”. Have you ever puzzled over these words from Graham Kendrick’s song Come and See? How is that possible, for wrath and mercy to meet? Aren’t they opposed to each other? Won’t one overcome the other, so that we are left with only wrath or only mercy? Or will there be some sort of uneasy compromise between the two, part wrath and part mercy?
These days it is increasingly common not to worry about these things, and to hold irreconcilable ideas together. So you might find people believing in, say, Jesus and reincarnation. After all, if there is no such thing as ‘the’ truth, why worry if the ‘truths’ you want to believe contradict each other?
The thing is, we need both wrath and mercy from God. We need God to have mercy on us, to love us and forgive us if we are to have a place in his new world. And we need him to be angry at evil and get rid of it if his new world is to be a good place to be. But what if the evil is to be found in us? It is in the cross of Jesus that God’s wrath and mercy meet perfectly. It is in him that sins are punished properly and sinners forgiven freely, where God is both “just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26) and where “righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10).
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)