FORMING COMMUNITIES | DAY 22.
‘And on some have compassion, making a difference.’ (Jude 1:22 KJV)
The greatest display of compassion in all the world was God stepping down to this earth to die for us. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Was numbered with us. Wore our dust. Became poor. Hungry. Weary. Let down. Maligned. Misrepresented. Tasted our salty hot tears. Despised. Rejected. Bruised. His back ploughed. His lovely face not hid from spittle. Wounded in the house of his friends. Stood in our place. Paid our debt. Died our death. Buried to perfume our grave. Rose again to trample our last enemy.
Up close. First hand. Intensely personal. Jesus Christ…compassion. Full immersion in the condition of another. You! Me! The whole of mankind. And like a wild thing, his compassion has brought us to belong to the greatest community in the universe. The body of Jesus Christ on this earth, his Church. The compassion of Christ creates community – belonging.
‘A new commandment I give to you that you love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ (John 13:34 NIV). Could we go and do likewise? Isn’t it interesting that the vast majority of individuals who encountered Jesus Christ while He walked this earth didn’t do so in the temple or synagogue, but in the place of work, in the crush of everyday life. About 85 percent of the parables He told had a workplace context.
Are there any depressed souls who need a good word in your working world? Debt-crushed people with no light at the end of a very dark tunnel? Lonely ones? Devastated by unbearable loss of loved ones? Sick in body? Addicted? Broken relationships? Prodigals? No hopers right on the edge of life? And on some have compassion, making a difference. The marketplace? True story. His mother was in the late stages, terminally ill and it was the final day before the summer holidays. His work supervisor had a long list of ‘must be done’ jobs for that day. This mother was going to temporary accommodation to allow the son to take his own young family away for a few days before they would return to the inevitable. Suddenly, that morning brought the realisation that her room badly needed some TLC to make it fit for a mother’s final days – painting, pictures and so on. Face-to-face with a leave of work request, his supervisor (who has no plan B) says, ‘Go and love your mum.’ Two weeks later on the eve of his mother’s burial, the employee says, ‘See that place, they have the shirt off my back.’ Compassion creates community. Belonging.
And on some have compassion, making a difference. So Father, in my working world today, show me the soul on whom I might have compassion, making a difference. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.