August 19, 2021
Weekly Reflection – Christian Compassion
On Christian Compassion: “Compassion is an enduring motif in the history of Christianity. It is not unique among Christians, nor is it activated evenly across all believers. But when Christianity shines, it often does so because of compassion. As Pope Francis wrote, “The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows her merciful and compassionate love.”
Dr. Monty Lynn
Dr. Monty Lynn is the son of our NationsUniversity Chancellor, Dr. Mac Lynn. Like his father, he is a university professor. And like many professors, he writes. His latest book, Christian Compassion – A Charitable History, was published just this week. I immediately ordered a copy and am in the process of reading its unique 324-page theme.
In the Opening, Dr. Lynn reminds us that, “For Christians, compassion is not merely a collection of kindnesses that create curb appeal for the faith or the faithful. Rather, compassion encapsulates an orientation to life wherein we see with charity beyond ourselves to others and to the common good (Phil 2:1-11).”
The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is the prime example of this in the New Testament. It may actually be a story illustrating Jesus’ teaching that, “Greater love has no man than this, that he give his life for his brother.” (John 15:13)
I was struck this week by several news articles that tell of modern good Samaritans who exemplify Christian compassion as a way of life. In one a policeman stopped a poor man who was driving without the required safety seat for his child. When the man explained that he had fallen on hard times and could not afford one, the policeman took him to the store and purchased the necessary seat using his own money. Other similar stories come across my desk weekly.
They are stories of the Good Samaritan in the twenty-first century, “Mother Theresa stories”. Food for the homeless. Caring for the aged. Visiting those in prison. Responding naturally when we come across someone in need. Isn’t this what following Jesus is meant to look like?
Have you experienced outposts of Christian living, lights of the world, that are credible because of how they show merciful and compassionate love?
Does the Christian community in your vicinity (or indeed your own life) shine because of its compassion? If not, why not? Is it possible for us to proactively shift even more toward “Christian compassion” as a life orientation?
Might we become “compelled by love?” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)
Peace and Blessings,
Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the Chaplain alone and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of any organization he may be associated with.
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