Jesus Would Have Loved It

You can’t touch the Queen of England.  That is a strict rule of etiquette and tradition.  But back in 1991, there was an African American woman whose childcare facility got a royal visit.  Maybe she didn’t get the memo.  More likely, that rule didn’t compute for her; when you welcome someone in her culture, you give ’em a warm hug.  So that’s what she did!  Everyone gasped, but I’m guessing the Queen loved it…  Best hug she’d had in years, no doubt.

Everyone gasped when Jesus’ disciples picked some heads of grain to eat on a Sabbath day.  The Pharisees were quick to criticize but Jesus told them to back off and get a better understanding of God’s Word.  He said:

“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” (Matthew 12:7)

To paraphrase what He meant, God would much rather have us adopt the attitude of His heart than try to earn brownie points by coldly following all the religious rules.  God would rather have you hug Him than stand at a distance and genuflect.  He wants us to have hearts of “mercy.”

“Mercy” weakly translates the Hebrew word, hesed, which is rich with deep meaning.  “Hesed” describes a savory stew of faithfulness, compassion, grace, loyalty, and love all expressed in the context of an intimate relationship.  “Hesed” is the word that is used to characterize the heart of God.  “Hesed” is what He wants most for us to hold in our hearts.  “Hesed” is how God wants us to treat each other.

A group of us were visiting the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem.  As we waited in line, someone, who could not contain her joy, began to sing: “Joy to the world, the Lord is born!” Others joined in and our harmonies began to fill the lofty stone arches of the cathedral that had been built to honor this wonderful birth.   But the priests on duty there were having none it.  They descended upon us, scowling and scolding and wagging their fingers.  “No singing in here!”   But I couldn’t help think…

“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” (Matthew 12:7)

I couldn’t help think, “Jesus would have loved it.”




1 thought on “Jesus Would Have Loved It

  1. debhop

    Yes, He would have!  Interesting to find out how old the Queen is. Didn’t even know there were childcare facilities in 199. 🙂

    Debby from mobile


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