Summary: This sermon is about the gift of God’s mercy upon the crippled lives of humanity

"The True Spirit of Giving"

2 Samuel 4:4,and chapter 9)

-Rev. A. L. Torrence, Pastor of

The Cross of Life Lutheran Church

“It’s the hard knock life for us.

It’s the hard knock life for us.

Steada treated, we get tricked.

Steada kisses, we get kicked.

It’s the hard knock life!”

Those words from the Broadway musical, “Annie” which was also covered by the young rap artist Jay-Z best describes the opinion of many who have suffered much and still have so little. It’s the hard knock life for us. Heartaches and hell, trouble, pain and travail. Many can testify to living lives of hard knocks.

Brother Job even tells us that, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” In other words, during this life we get knocked around. We get knocked down. And some of us even get knocked out. Troubles will be in our way. We will frequently find ourselves in the midst of a storm. We can say like the poet, Langston Hughes, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It has tacks in it, and splinters, and boards torn up – bare.” Yes, we have suffered so much. We have been through the fire and gone through the flood. We have been tested and we have been tried. For some of us, every day is hard. It’s difficult to fall asleep at night. And it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. It’s the hard knock life for us.

No one could probably better testify to the difficulties and struggles of hard living than the person described in our text - Mephibosheth. His life well illustrates the effect of continued disasters, disappointments, and anxieties. In reading his story, we already know that he is motherless because he is under the care of a nurse. Then we are told that at age five his father, Jonathan, David’s best friend was killed in battle along with his grandfather King Saul.

And to literary add injury to lost, we are further told that when Mephibosheth’s nurse heard the news of the killing of his father, she panicked and attempted to escape harms way. And in her fleeing, she dropped baby Mephibosheth – causing him to become lame. For the rest of his life he was crippled. This little prince who was to one day be king became a lamed pauper living in seclusion. While his family was being assassinated, murdered, and exiled, his future as a king would never be fulfilled. One careless incident caused by another resulted in tragedy, misfortune, and sadness.

Many can relate to being the victims of such circumstances. Everyday we hear stories about the victims of someone else’s carelessness. Like the child killed by a stray bullet from the barrel of gang member’s gun. Like the mother struck dead by a drunk driver leaving a company party. Like the passengers, killed in an airline crash because of the drowsiness of an airline controller -- like, the misdiagnosis of a cancer patient, due to ill trained lab technician. There are those who can testify to being victims of someone else’s mistakes. Like Mephibosheth who trusted his nurse, some of us can relate to being dropped by those in who we placed our trust. We too are living crippled lives because someone in whom we showed some trust has dropped us – Like, incest survivors injured by parents who touched too much: Like, victims of ‘date rapes’ scarred by men who were thought trustworthy: Like, wives being dropped by their husbands for younger women because of midlife crisis: Like, single mothers and pregnant teenagers dropped by boyfriends and husbands who couldn’t handle the pressure of fatherhood and marriage: Like, newborns and babies being dropped into trashed bags, because mothers can’t handle motherhood; Like, Black children being dropped from the rolls of an educational system that stereotypes them candidates for special-Ed: Like, the unemployed worker dropped from the company’s payroll after years of faithful service; like, the thousands of cancer and aids patients, dropped from the case loads of doctors who can no longer afford to treat them because of the bureaucracy of HMO’s and Medicaid; and even like, the majority of American public are being dropped by a republican congress, which cares nothing for our public opinion concerning the impeachment of a president who has done more for blacks since the president Kennedy .

Yes, like Mephibosheth we know what it feels like to be dropped by someone or something that we’ve trusted. And, our lives are still suffering the crippling effects of those disappointments. We are afraid to trust again because we have been lied to. We are afraid to take chances because of past failures. We are afraid to follow our heart because just the thought of making one more mistake sends shivers down our spine. We can’t handle another tragedy. We can’t go through another illness. We can’t sit through another funeral. We are just hanging on by a fine thread. NO, we can’t handle any more of life’s misery. We need to see some of God’s mercy. We need someone to show us the kindness of God. Our very souls cry out, “Lord, have mercy on me!” Have mercy on me Lord because the doctor says one more stroke may place me six feet under. Have mercy on me Lord, because I’m just a paycheck from being homeless and I’m being laid-off next week. Have mercy on me Lord, because my marriage is falling apart and my daughter is becoming sexually active. Have mercy on me Lord, because the AIDS test came back positive. Have mercy on me Lord, because my child is talking about college, and we don’t have the money. Our very souls cry out “Lord, have mercy!”

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