Sunday, January 29, 2017
Compassion Not Fear
This morning my pastor spoke about compassion and how God is the God of compassion. In Exodus 34 when Moses asked God who He was, God answered by saying he was; “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
He said the first time God described who He was in the Bible, God chose to do so using the words; compassionate, gracious, love and faithfulness – along with forgiving. Wonderful words. Powerful words. Words for which I’m ever so thankful!
Without addressing politics, he went on to talk about how if we, as Christians, were going to be people who reflect the compassion, grace, love, faithfulness and forgiveness of God, then we have to be people who show these things to others – especially those who are in need; such as refugees. My church has a refugee ministry and we are currently helping families from Syria and the South Sudan. Families very much like my own – adults and children who want to live in freedom and safety.
Like my pastor, without addressing politics, I want to be a person who reflects God’s heart and I want my grandsons to do this as well. I do not want to live in fear; or let fear determine how I respond to others in need. I do not want my grandsons to live in fear, or allow fear to determine how they respond to others in need, either.
Our world can be frightening – I imagine it is ever so much more frightening for people who are fleeing a war-torn country, leaving all they own behind to find safety and freedom for them and for the children they love. If Jesus were here, I believe He would help these people.
And, He is here – in the hearts of all who love Him. We are the ones who can show His compassion, grace, love, faithfulness and forgiveness to those who are in need. We – and our children and grandchildren are the ones who can refuse to let fear rule our lives and choose to let compassion determine what we say and do, by how we treat refugees.