“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” -Psalms 51:12
Gevurah has given us the strength to return home. The final step is Chesed, Hebrew for “kindness” or “love.” This term is commonly used in the Bible to describe God’s love for mankind. It refers to “tikkun olam,” Christ’s mercy repairing the world. It is the foundation of the Law (Keter): Love God and Love thy neighbor (Leviticus 19:18, 33-34, Matthew 5: 43-48; 22:36-40, 3 Nephi 5:89-92 RAV, 12:43-48 OPV). Thus, in Mormon Kabbalah it is known as Mercy.
The restoration or mercy is the healing portion of Teshuvah. This has two parts. First, it completes the Return healing us, and second it heals us when we have been spiritually harmed by others. Sin has two affects: damage to the sinner, and damage to those they sinned against. This power has a third effect: ministry.
We obviously do not harm God when we sin against him. However, sin is a negative with both cause and effect. Being washed clean by Christ’s Grace feels wonderful, it’s empowering! However, it doesn’t merely heal us. On its own, teshuvah can be seen as ego fulfillment. Yet this is contrary to the whole point of being Born Again! There must be a way to heal those that have been harmed, and for God to heal us when we have been harmed. This is Chesed. This is the Atonement’s Mercy healing us, healing the wrongs done against us. This is the power of Christ, and his Atonement.
The Seven Days of Chesed
1. Healing. Sin has harmed us and others. On the first day of Chesed we allow God to separate the light from the darkness. The darkness is washed away by the warmth of the light. Being cleansed by the light we are purified and thus moved by the Holy Spirit to do holy works (Genesis 1:1-5).
2. Washing. Next the waters come, cleansing the pain sin has caused us, and helps us make clean our sins that have caused pain to others. The waters are cool and refreshing, getting deep within us, healing our wounds. They are also harsh to help us mourn with those sin has hurt. We are literally washed clean and made whole in God’s peace, and now wish to extend the healing out to others. Know that it is Christ’s mercy that washes us (Genesis 1:6-8).
3. Works. Vegetation springs from us, causing us to take action. When we are the ones that did harm, we are moved by God to admit our mistakes and work to heal those we have harmed, as moved by the Spirit. While it is by Grace we are saved, that salvation moves us to action (Genesis 1:9-13).
4. A New Path. With the sun, moon, and stars lighting our way, the Holy Spirit guides us forward. We’re back on track, leaving the past sins, pride, and Ego behind. This allows us to do more that be healed. We are now able to move beyond our own needs and be a light unto the world, helping others (Genesis 1:14-19).
5. Greater Works. As we grow in Grace, our good deeds bear fruit and multiply. We now wish to bring others to Christ. God moves us like birds to the air, and fish in the sea; swift, ever moving, ever singing his praise. We’re seeking to help heal all that have been harmed. He’s called us to minister to those in need (Genesis 1:20-23).
6. Mission. With your new found understanding, God has called you to bring teshuvah to the world. You are called to be a fisher of men. Many are lost, and you now hear their cries. You understand the call to repentance isn’t wall of a chastisement, but a bridge we build through acceptance and love. You’re now active in the building of God’s kingdom, a new Eden (Genesis 1:24-31).
7. Rest. The cycle of teshuvah isn’t the end, but a new beginning. Now we rest so that we can start the cycle again in the new month. Today we worship; we mourn with those that mourn and have joy with those that have joy. You can’t better help others because God has opened your eyes and you see “It is good” (Genesis 2:1-3).
To be fully restored, we must continue learning, growing, teaching, and building. We’re growing grace by grace in Christ. The way to grow now is not merely inside of us, building our own relationship with God. Now, we find others that can help us grow. All of these will teach and guide you on the path, just as you will teach and guide them. No one has all of the answers. This is why God has taught us to worship with others. You’re not alone. We’re all in it together. Moving forward, we keep Growing in Grace.