WEEK 1, DAY 5: COMPASSION:
Scripture Reference: Mark 5
Does anyone remember that riveting scene from the movie “The Hunger Games”? The moment that Katniss Everdeen volunteers to serve as tribute in place of her young sister Prim? As a result, she was forced to go to a brutal arena and fight for her life. What moved her to this dangerous and costly action? Compassion. During World War II, in the death camp Auschwitz, a prisoner escaped. As punishment, ten other prisoners were sentenced to die by starvation. One of those men was Franciszek Gajowniczek. Upon hearing his death sentence, he cried out, “My wife! My children!” Stepping forward, Maximillian Kolbe volunteered to take his place. He said, ““I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children.” Compassion moved him to sacrifice his own life for another.
Compassion is Action
In the scripture today, Mark 5:1-43, we see Jesus do three miracles. He healed a demon-possessed man, and was on his way to raise a little girl from the dead when he healed a woman who had been afflicted for fourteen years with a bleeding disorder. I find it fascinating that Jesus said he felt power leave him when she was healed. When Jesus took on our humanity, I believe he had an experience on this earth very similar to ours. I think that many of Jesus’ dealings left him exhausted, shaking, perhaps weeping at the violence, grief, and evil that he encountered. His compassion moved him to action. As a result, this action often cost him something, and indeed, ultimately, cost him his own life.
Compassion is not merely an ooey feeling of niceness. It asks something of us. Compassion asks us to be obedient to righteousness even if it inconveniences us, even if it costs us. It may cost us time, money, tears, and energy. Are the ones that Jesus died to ransom worth such a cost?
— Bethany Pedigo, Vineyard Bowling Green
Take time to contemplate:
- Read the Scripture for today and ask God to show you people that need compassion in your world today.
- Take action.
Jesus, we love Your heart of compassion. Father, we love the mission of compassion You sent your son to fulfill. Holy Spirit, we love how You grow the fruits of love, tenderness, gentleness and kindness in us that lead us to acts of compassion. Help us to hear You and help us to follow You. Lord, help us to be willing to pay the cost. Thank You for promising to renew our strength as we follow you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.