Read and reflect: Excerpt from the letter on section II: “A God of Mercy”
“What we struggle to learn in both the Old and New Testaments is that God’s love, God’s mercy, is God’s defining characteristic. God’s anger passes but his mercy endures forever. God’s loving mercy is the key to understanding all the other texts. It is in service of this mercy that we must understand the judgment and even chastisement or punishment spoken of in both Old and New Testaments.
“This mercy is present from the very beginning, for creation itself is an act of mercy. Scripture is clear and the tradition consistent in teaching that God creates not out of need but freely, as an act of bountiful love for all of creation. And as it came from the hand of God, the world was good, very good. This is the garden we were given in which to live, not because we earned it but simply because God loves us. As a further expression of this generous mercy, God even gives us dominion over ‘all the living things that move on the earth’ [Gen 1:28].”