Monday’s Devotion.. finally done! Compassion is not an option!
Devotional/Discussion Thought from Monday:
“If you love the Lord, you will necessarily feel the blessed burden of souls, and the need to bring them to God.” (1)
I started writing this blog on Monday, and erased it a number of times. The burden that St. Josemarie speaks of is one every pastor knows, and every pastor struggles with often. I dare say that elders, deacons, deaconesses and every person in the church should as well. If such a burden is foreign, and if you catch me at a just the right moment, you will hear me agree to the statement. Even as I do, the implications of that will crush me.
The challenge of course is we hear this as “law” – and it seems to condemn us. After all, we have been pretty well inoculated against compassion by the American Idol of “Individuality”, and it’s sub-deity “personal religion”. That is a whole different blog – but to make it simple – we don’t believe in the community of faith any longer, we give it lip service, but do we really get it? Being convicted by such a statement is a great tool – it is often used to raise money for overseas missions, or for poverty or natural disaster relief. “Don’t you care about the poor, starving, homeless…” and we grab our checkbook or ATM card and pay for indulgences, American Style!
But what if St. Josemarie’s comment is actually gospel? That is, what if the impact of knowing God’s love so radically changes us, that we are compelled to help – not just those in need in other places, but those across our fence, those down the block, those people who serve us in stores, or restaurants, or?? What if our eyes of faith saw the burdens people carry, burdens that they don’t have to bear, for Jesus already has born our burdens. What if he is describing the effct of the cross on us, that we cannot see others living without it?
I titled this, compassion is not an option – for the one Who is compassionate toward us, God, Father Son and Holy Spirit – so loves us, that He has put His Spirit with in us. So listen, and see, and know, the peace you have in Christ is meant for them as well.
Lord, as we cry “Lord have mercy!” help us to realize we cry for Your mercy to be shown through us to others as well!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 446-447). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.