We welcome Tobi Stathers as our preacher this morning who, together with David, will be telling us about the work of Compassion. This Christian organisation has recently relocated its headquarters to Ancells Park and, in a wonderful way, facilitates the sponsorship of children in the third world, working exclusively in partnership with local churches. I’m looking forward to a great morning!
After “grace”, perhaps “compassion” is my favourite Biblical word. How lovely it is to read in Psalm 86v15: “But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Even in Lamentations we read “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (3v22,23).
The word “compassion” generally means to have mercy, to feel sympathy and to have pity. However, the Greek word frequently used to describe Jesus’ compassion for the crowds and for individuals literally means “to be moved as to one’s inwards, to be moved / yearn with compassion”. Jesus’ compassion was effectively gut-wrenching. It not only moved Him inwardly but it motivated Him outwardly to take action to alleviate suffering. He was never indifferent. He never “passed by on the other side”.
God has demonstrated such compassion to us through Jesus. May we seek to show gut-wrenching and active compassion to those in need.
Peace and Grace