Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
🔹 Matthew 18:32-35 🔹
“Then the master sent for the man and said to him, “You wicked servant, I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow-servant just as I had pity on you? And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.”
⏺ sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
Compassion is something we can all relate to, we hear about it in news stories, we see commercials promoting it, we see it throughout the world and in many cultures. Compassion is visible, it’s real. God’s compassion is concrete and specific, it is through Jesus, we are able to see the fullness of this compassion. He emptied himself and became human and lived a human existence. Jesus knows the feelings experienced by humans; “I am with you.” Jesus can truly say those words because he chose to be human, and because Jesus, who is God-with-us came to us in freedom of love, not needing to experience our human condition. (1)
Jesus is the obedient son, he came to us, to live among us so we could fully know how to live a compassionate life. Jesus set the standard for compassion so we could also live a life pleasing to God. The significance of knowing and displaying compassion is for us to live a full life sharing the love of God will those around us.
I need/want to pause and share a personal note of authenticity, I absolutely support compassion and have great intentions of expressing it but even on my best days I fail. I am thankful for friends and family that not only show me compassion but much grace and great mercy. Yesterday was a tough day for me, I was more irritable than usual and every little thing caused me to be distressed. I tend to be fairly passionate about many things and can get caught up or spun up over the tiniest of details. Unfortunately, what I see as a priority may not be to someone else, I loose site of big picture from time to time. Recognizing my area of concern vs. my area of control. What I have learned to do more often and more easily is to stop myself and apologize as soon as I’ve said more than I should have, interjecting myself into the drivers seat when I am a passenger in the back seat. I am trying. BDC & RLR thank you for your grace, mercy and compassion. (I know I’m forgetting many but those were the two most recent).
The Bible gives us a clue about compassion, one I had never really considered until I read my devotional for today by Henri J. M. Nouwen, “Show Me The Way,” page 67-68. He says that “As long as we live on this earth, our lives as Christians must be marked by compassion. But we must [realize] that the compassionate life is not our final goal. In fact, we can only live the compassionate life to the fullest when we know that it points beyond itself.” (2)
This beyond point is told to us by Jesus in John 14:1-3, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am.”
The place Jesus is telling us about is the new heaven and the new earth, places were suffering will be overcome and compassion no longer necessary. (3)
✴️ Revelation 21:1-4 ✴️
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ‘Look, here God lives among human beings. He will make his home among them; they will be his people, and he will be their God, God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness or pain. The world of the past has gone.”
The words/vision from John in Revelation 21, provides us with a guide to the new, the beyond compassion. Until then, we must remain vigilant in being the hands and feet of Jesus by welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and the prisoners, and helping to overcome oppression. It is by these grateful actions the first glimpses of the new heaven and new earth can be seen. (4).
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ Saintly Friend – Day 18
Read about one of the saints. We have many mothers and fathers who have come before us with inspiring stories.
✝️ Prayer ✝️
Dear Lord, help me keep my eyes on you.
You are the incarnation of Divine Love,
you are the expression of God’s infinite compassion,
you are the visible manifestation of the Father’s holiness.
You are beauty, goodness, gentleness,
forgiveness, and mercy.
To you I want to give all that I am.
Let me generous, not stingy or hesitant.
Friends— thank you for your continued support, blessings to you today! 🙏🏻✝️🤍
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 67, paragraph 1.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 67-68, paragraph 3 and 1, respectively.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 68, paragraph 1.
(4) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 69, paragraph 1.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation