Gerhard Uhlhorn said “God enjoined on us Christians the sacrifice of Mercy not because he needs them but that we may not be unfruitful and unthankful. The gifts that we give to one another, and the care we show for the poor is a teaching tool. We learn the true meaning of the petition in the Lords prayer that we receive our daily bread with Thanksgiving. Uhlhorn said “the whole life of a Christian is a festival, the continuous sacrifice, and the sacrifice consists on the one side in prayer and Thanksgiving, on the other in imparting of our substance to the needy”. This is a beautiful example of witness, mercy, and life together. As our witness to Christ in word and deed takes place, to the proclamation of the Gospel and the giving of the sacraments, Christians learn of the marvelous sacrifice of Christ for them. This impels them and teaches them to give of what they have to others. This leads to a life together of care and concern for each other in the body of Christ. This is the true circle of life. We learn of God’s great love for us through the church’s proclamation. We share the new life we have in acts of mercy and sacrifice for one another and those who are in need. The circle expands, the witness continues, the teaching is widened, the body of Christ becomes leaven and light in a world of darkness.
About The Author
Rev. Bernhard Seter has been a Pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for over 42 years. He served on the Board of LCMS World Relief and Human Care for ten years and is now the Chairman of the Board of International Missions. He has been privileged to travel around the world and see the churches' mercy work in action. He is convinced it is not only what we are "compelled" to do because of Christ; it is what we have been baptized for. Christ's love compels us, constrains us, and sends us forth.