Dear Church Family and Community,
I was thinking today, about how compassion is better to be known than simply known about. It can be described, it can be defined, but it’s almost always better to be felt. Compassion is care and concern. I love that compassion is also consideration and charity. The best thing about compassion is that it is core to how God makes Himself known to us.
Yesterday marked the eighteenth-year anniversary of 9/11. I remember the shock and horror, followed by confusion and then concern, for my many family and friends in the New York City tri-state area. That concern existed for me, a then sophomore at Messiah College, as everyone was trying to sort out if Central PA was also under threat of attack. I also remember the compassion of that day amongst those closest to me.
One of the challenges since that fateful day has been for us to communally lead out of love and compassion. Words like pain, sorrow, revenge, and retribution seems much easier to lead with. Nevertheless, on that Tuesday in September, and every other day as well, our God the Father of Mercies, who comforts us, calls us to show comfort, mercy, and compassion.
Compassion is a way God has chosen to make Himself known to us. Compassion is a way that we as children of God our Father can reveal and make God known to our world. We who have known God’s compassion must be willing to share it. We who have felt and received God’s mercy are commanded to be merciful.
This week we will continue our Miracle: Making God Known series by learning about God the Compassionate. I believe a key to understanding how God is revealed over the course of the Old Testament is to remember His heart, love, and deep compassion. It was God’s compassion that led Him to rescue the Israelites from Egypt, heal them of diseases, and provide for them in miraculous ways. God the Compassionate is a great way to know and remember our Father who loves and cares for us.
In preparation for this week’s service, please take time to read and pray through 1 King 19:1-18, the aftermath of God’s triumph over Baal through His prophet Elijah. This is a story that’s often remembered for God’s sovereignty and power. However, to Elijah, this is a story about how God’s compassion comes to us in our time of deepest need. As you read, ask and answer: How is God being revealed here? How does Elijah feel God’s compassion? Where do you see God’s care, concern, and consideration for Elijah? Where do you see God’s compassion for you?
Last week our service focused on Jesus the Creator. We were reminded in the sermon that it is very important to know and remember that Jesus is the complete revelation of God. So much so, that to see Jesus is to see what God is really like. Paul reminds the Colossians and us that Jesus has supremacy over everything, that Jesus was flesh and blood yet fully God, that Jesus came to teach us that God is always near, and that we need Jesus…and only Jesus to come back to God our Father. If you missed hearing this message, please be sure to check it out here on our website, or through our sermon podcast on Soundcloud, Google Play, iTunes, or Stitcher.
As always, thank you all for reading. I hope and pray this finds you doing well.
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Lamentations 3:22-26)
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