Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for November 22
Justice and Mercy”
Rev. Hardy H. Kim, preaching

The things that are going on around us these days—particularly the currently worsening pandemic—can make us feel very discouraged about the state of the world. It’s hard just to have hope enough to face the days. It would seem almost impossible for this to be a time for us to think about advancing and improving our spiritual lives. 

But what if we were being judged by God, even now? We believe that God sees us and knows us, and notices our actions and our daily struggles, right? So, don’t we also believe that God might have an opinion about how we are living? On top of that, we see all sorts of suffering in the everyday lives of people around us—not just people far away. So, perhaps these are exactly the days in which we should pay attention to whether we are living in ways that are pleasing to God. 

I hope this idea will give us all an opportunity for thinking positively about the ways we might do more to live out God’s will for us, even in times like these. And I also hope that you will join us on Sunday in worship, so that we can continue these reflections together!


Join us immediately following worship this Sunday for Coffee Hour

After the service is over, log on to our Zoom coffee time at:

Theme for Sunday
“[Traditionally], ‘God’s justice’ is understood as God’s deserved punishment of us for our sins, ‘God’s mercy’ as God’s loving forgiveness of us in spite of our guilt. Given the choice, we would all prefer God’s mercy and hope to escape God’s justice. But seeing the opposite of justice as mercy distorts what the Bible means by justice. Most often in the Bible, the opposite of God’s justice is not God’s mercy, but human injustice. The issue is the shape of our life together as societies, not whether the mercy of God will supersede the justice of God in the final judgment.”
—Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity

Questions for Reflection
  • Who are some of the people around you that you witness experiencing great need right now? Or what is one situation of societal struggle that you think needs urgently to be addressed?
  • What is something that you could do to help a struggling person, or to improve a bad situation, in these days?
Matthew 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”