Archive for the ‘sickness’ Tag

Jesus’ Compassion On The Harassed And Helpless!

jesus' compassion

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/14-11-16-jesus-compassion-on-the-harassed-and-helpless-matt-9-35-10-8-tah.mp3

Have YOU ever felt harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd? Not without clothing, food or water but, in the midst of plenty, still feeling LOST, despite knowing there is a Shepherd????

Of course you have, and do!!!

In this 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore proclaims a Gospel Message entitled ” Jesus’ Compassion On The Harassed And Helpless!”. In this Gospel he explores Matthew 9: 35 through Matthew 10: 1-8 proclaiming The GOOD NEWS of God’s compassion revealed and active in Jesus! Observing the literal Body of Jesus Christ in Mission reveals God: Father, Son and Spirit does all kinds of interesting and redemptive things with “foolish” participation, people, preaching and pausing!

In this message we hear that:

1~ God in Jesus begins a radical form of calling people to Himself in a gathered and scattered way that transforms their lives and the lives of others as he reaches out in compassion to His world and humanity. God in Christ DOES have an agenda and He DOES care to make himself known to people even as He does good works. He is even willing to become broken to reach out in His compassion and see humanity healed!

2~ Even with money in the bank, food to eat, shelter, we can still find ourselves harassed and helpless, but WHY??? Pastor Tim gives one compelling reason this may be so in our times, considering the present mission of God revealed in Jesus and His determination not to be Himself without us!

3~ We have not understood the “foolishness” of God in Jesus Christ and why we need to be willing to RECEIVE His foolishness as He works in this world to compassionately SAVE people!

4~ Jesus Christ is not only GOD’S GOOD NEWS, He is GOD’S GOOD NEWS in LOVING MOTION: in Gospel Mission and Ministry action, in and through His special believers! In and by the Spirit, believers become THE BODY OF CHRIST – JOINING in what GOD is DOING as He calls and gathers even more disciples and sends them with HIMSELF in MISSION. From the Father, in Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit, believers are the compassion of God, helping to heal His harassed and helpless humanity.

Listen and ask yourself: DO I SEE THE COMPASSION OF GOD REVEALED EVEN IN THE BROKEN HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST? AND AM I, THROUGH JESUS AND BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WILLING TO RESPOND TO GOD’S CALLING TO BE HIS BODY AND COMPASSION RIGHT NOW, AS HE WORKS OUT HOPE AND HEALING IN AND THROUGH MY BROKEN HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS?!

Carrying Another’s Burden

I was working with one of my Basic Composition students whom I’ll call Tom.  The rest of the class had left, and we were plugging through how to organize an expository essay when he began to elaborate on his health issues.

I listened as he told me about the progressive brain disease where his brain is continuing to shrink, and his life expectancy is dwindling to maybe 15 more years.  Tom is 34.

When faced with the suffering or problems of others, our first instinct is to fix them.  While it might be motivated by compassion, our unwillingness to watch others suffer might also be linked to our own unwillingness to suffer with them. It is hard for us to love someone who is hurting (physically or emotionally) because that puts us in pain, too.  So we work like crazy to make them better.

Our “help” can take the form of nagging (my personal specialty) or unwanted or unasked for advice (another talent of mine).  We are unable to rest with the hurting person and just listen, providing the comfort of presence that reminds them that they’re not alone.

In the movie “Love and Other Drugs,” the character Jamie (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is a pharmaceutical rep who inadvertently falls in love with an artist named Maggie (Anne Hathaway) who has early onset  Parkinson’s disease.  Once he realizes the implications of this disease for their relationship, he is desperate to find a cure.  He flies Maggie to see a number of specialists, and in one part of the story where they have flown in to see a specialist only to find out their appointment was rescheduled, he loses it with the receptionist and creates a scene.

You see, Jamie could only love Maggie if there was hope for a cure, at least at this point in the movie.  It hurt too much to endure her pain with her.

In Galatians 6:2, we’re told to “Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law” (The Message).  We’re not told to fix them or change them, but to share in their heartache and their misfortunes.  Sooner or later, we will need someone to share our problems, too.

The good news in this bleak picture is twofold.  First, it’s not up to us to fix everyone’s problems or illnesses.  It is helpful to realize that we are limited, that God is not limited, and that He’s keeping an eye on everything so there’s no need to worry.  Next, we have a Triune God who loves us in the midst of our mess and our brokenness and who isn’t afraid to sit with us in it.  The Father, Son, and Spirit are not put off by our problems.  If anything, they are willing to sit with us because they know it will all turn out OK.   They have chosen to make it that way.

So as I listened to my student Tom tell me his questions of “why me?” and his concerns for the future, I managed to keep quiet.  I laid my well-intentioned advice to the side, and I sat with him while he bore his health burden.  I’d like to think my attention, my reflective listening (I did my best), and my presence offered comfort and reassurance.  I’d like to think that Jesus was sitting with us, in the midst of Tom’s mess, reminding us both that we’re never forsaken, never left alone.

~Nan Kuhlman

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