The initial point is simple: "God does not despise what He has made." And yet to us it may not be so simple. We despise all sorts of folks, including not just sinners but criminals, as I learned a couple of days ago when reading a news report of a local murder (may the murderer come to repentance).
But then yesterday the noon Ash Wednesday service incorporated "A Penitential Office (for Ash Wednesday)" which included this in one prayer:
MOST mighty God, and merciful Father, who hast compassion upon all men, and who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his sin, and be saved; ...A little bit different from Evening Prayer's:
ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live, ...but the idea is there regardless. Al sinners, even murderers, can be saved.
The final point is driven home through a book I am now reading, Christ Walks: Where Evil Reigned [responding to the Rwandan genocide], authored and signed by Emmanuel M. Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda, signed by him and sent by an Internet FRiend (thank you Ken!!!!), soon to be placed in our parish library. Christ walked here too...
"Christ Walks" vs. our Book of Common Prayer vs, "40-Day Journey" looks like an triptych, three not quite disparate views of the same issue. An interesting journey regarding mercy lies ahead of us...