Ninth Sunday after Pentecost — August 6, 2017
Source of Compassion
Jesus needed to get away. He had just heard about the death of John the Baptist. He sought the solitude of a lonely place, but the crowds followed. When he saw them, he was moved with compassion for them—compassion enough to change his plans so that he could spend time with them and heal their sick.
At the end of the day, Jesus could have called it quits; the disciples were ready to, and with good reason. Everyone was tired and hungry, and there wasn’t a restaurant or store in sight. And, by the way, Teacher, weren’t you looking for a little down time earlier? But Jesus, the source of compassion, gave them a job to do and a direction to go in, so they too could share in his feelings for these people.
Miracle of miracles: the feeding of the five thousand; and it start-ed out because “he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them” (Matthew 14:14).
How many times have we let things get in the way of sharing our compassion? We are tired, we are busy, or we just plain don’t feel like giving of ourselves. “It’s been a long day, Jesus; just send them away.”
But at times our compassion takes hold of us; more correctly, Jesus’ compassion moves us to share of ourselves. Here, Jesus gives us a direction to share our time, or talent, or a word of comfort, for a crowd or an individual. We have a chance to feed a multitude with so little, through our Lord’s help. That basic feeling of compassion can lead us to do things we would never attempt or even dream possible.
John A. Craver Sr., Konnoak Hills Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina