A Revolution of Life
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60:1-2
Throughout history there have been uprisings and revolutions in various nations led by people of courage and often with hope for a change for the better. Many of the tactics and beliefs however have been flawed. As people in this nation have lived with years of what they think is Christianity, many have looked at other beliefs or ways as a kind of rising up to be free from “religious” repression. Christianity is so often misrepresented or misunderstood so that people are unaware of just how radical a revolutionary Jesus was. His attitudes and behaviour were revolutionary. Jesus respected women, spent time with thieves, conmen, prostitutes and the disease-infected under-classes. He was seen as a political agitator, a man hunted and hated by the authorities. His revolution was one of life, love, and hope. It is a revolution we still need.
The compassion of Jesus
Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. What does compassion mean here? Compassion means “to be moved inwardly”; “to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity, and empathy”. It arises from the very depth of a person and is the deepest movement of emotions possible. Compassion is sharing the feelings of others and being moved to help them in their trouble. So when Jesus saw the lost multitude, He yearned with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy from the very depth of His affections.
Jesus Lifts People Up
A man fell into a ditch and various religious types of people went past and offered their advice. Not one of them actually bothered to make the effort to reach down and lift him out of the ditch. Then Jesus came along and without hesitation reached down and lifted him out. Jesus’ compassion represents God’s desire to be reconciled to all people of all backgrounds. When God saw the depravity of the human race, all the selfishness, deceit, greed, wrong motives, behaviour, He could very easily have said “you’re all so disgusting, the way you all carry on” and could have given up on the human race but He didn’t. He was filled with a deep compassion for them and saw that they were lost, like sheep without a shepherd. He didn’t condone their current state or behaviour but said, ‘I’m going to do all I can to lead you out of this and make it possible for you to find real life.’
A Place to call home
It is possible to be in a crowd and be lonely. The majority of people living in London were not actually born where they are living. This means that many do not have family or close friends nearby. One of the most wonderful things about being a part of a church community is that no one needs to be lonely anymore. We are called to be a family of believers, to “love as brothers”. One of the great blessings of belonging to a church family is that we are able to find a place we can call home, where we are loved, accepted and celebrated. Let’s continue to cherish and protect our home and enjoy all we have together but let’s always be ready to embrace anyone who comes into our home and remember what we felt like when we were new.
As we look around us, may we be filled with a compassion for those who are without the hope, life and love that we enjoy and arise to lead them to the One who longs to lift them up.
With our love & prayers
Pastors Phil & Caroline