Sunday, July 22 2018
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Perhaps you will recognize these words as the refrain of the song "Jesus Loves Me." These simple words and simple tune are often taught to children. It is easy to learn and easy to teach. But, these few simple words say so much about Jesus. When did you last stop and think, yes, Jesus loves me? It is easy to get caught up in all that is going on in day-to-day living and not stop to remember that Jesus loves each one of us.
We hear in the reading this week from the Gospel according to Mark that, when the apostles gathered around Jesus to tell him all they had been doing, he suggested they go to a deserted place and rest a while. It must have been a busy place because it says that many were coming and going and didn't even have time to eat. Have you ever had one of those days or even a season where you were so busy that you didn't even have time to stop and eat? I suspect we can all relate!
They got in a boat to go to the place to rest. However, when they moored the boat and got out, they found that a crowd had gathered because the people recognized that it was Jesus and the apostles. It says that as Jesus went ashore, he saw the crowd and he had compassion for them.
Compassion. I keep coming back to this word as I read and re-read this Gospel. Jesus had compassion. He had compassion on them and he has compassion on us today. His compassion was evidenced in the paragraphs that follow in Mark. Jesus was moved to feed and heal those who came to him. That was compassion in action. You see, compassion is more than just feeling sympathy. Compassion involves allowing ourselves to see distress and to be moved to action to alleviate it. It was in the midst of crowds, it was in the midst of the coming and going, it was in a place where the people didn't even have time to eat that Jesus showed compassion. Jesus showed love. Through compassion and love, lives and circumstances were changed.
It is in and through Christ-like compassion that we at St. John's are seeking to change the world - Compassion lived out in feeding the hungry, helping immigrants and refugees, being intentional about racial reconciliation and formation, loving those around us, being serious about discipleship. Yes, Jesus loves each one of us and with that love we love others. With his compassion we share compassion. In Jesus, the world can be transformed. The Bible tells me so.