jawboneIn this series on the experience and practice of mercy, the second reality that we need to confront is the intoxicating nature of revenge. When we look at the scriptures to find the first mention of revenge, we do not have to look very far. In fact, after the two accounts of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, and then the account of the fall of humanity in Genesis 3, it is in the story of the first descendants of the man and the woman that we see the reaction of violence that begins to spiral out of control, especially in the boast of Lamech in Genesis 4:23-24.

But if you wish to see revenge in all its primitive and barbaric honesty, then we need look no further than Judges 15 with the account of Samson and his attempts to woo his wife with a young goat which results eventually in the death of hundreds of people. The scary thing is that the lines that Rambo-Samson uses to justify his action are rarely far from what we continue to hear in more mundane situations like the office cooler or which side of the church we choose to sit on.

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Recorded at St Paul’s, 7.30am.

Jawbone supplied by parishioner and local farmer, Michael Keys.

Presentation slides. Reflection video: Dust (Shift Worship)