Monday, August 8, 2011

mercy / diakonia

When people came to Jesus for help in the Gospels, they would say "Kyrie Eleison" (Lord have mercy).
And Jesus had compassion on them. He fed them, healed them, consoled them, and proclaimed to them that the kingdom of heaven was near. Like Jesus, when Christians hear the cries of their neighbors, they have compassion on them and respond by providing for their needs as well.

The greek word diakonia usually is translated as service or ministry. When associated with mercy, however, diakonia describes specific works like feeding the poor, taking care of the sick, and caring for orphans and widows. Diakonia is caring for our neighbors in concrete and effective ways because of what Jesus has done for us. As Christians we show mercy by serving our neighbor in Christ's love.

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