Matthew 9:36 - When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
If what we see in the world does not elicit a compassionate response from us then we are just not seeing with the eyes of God, but more than that, we are not allowing God to move through us and out to the world; we are not letting love flow.
“In the name of God, the most gracious, the most compassionate…” is how many Islamic prayers begin. God is named as merciful and kind, gracious and compassionate. Cynthia Bourgeault in her book The Wisdom Way of Knowing says that in the Christian West we are accustomed to rattling off the statement “God is love” as if love were a preexistent absolute. She says love does not just flow out of God, like water flows from a Spring (God being the Spring and love being the water), but God is that love itself. God is not just loving, God is love itself. God the compassionate is compassion itself.
Cynthia Bourgeault goes on to say that our job, as humans, is to give
“birthing” and “body” to the names of God so that what is invisible
becomes visible. We are midwives of the Spirit. True compassion always
flows in loving concrete action.
Jesus sent his disciples out to heal and release, to free and liberate the lost sheep, people who were harassed and helpless, like sheep without
shepherd; that they may know the ‘divine aliveness.’
Prayer: God the most merciful and kind, God the most gracious and
compassionate,flow from us in endless love. May we, through our lives
give “birthing” and “body” to your holy name of love and that all the
world may know your divine aliveness. Amen.
Minister of Campsie Earlwood Clemton Park Uniting Church Congregation