A Vessel of Compassion

“Jesus resonated with the depths of human sorrow. He became lost with the lost, hungry with the hungry, and thirsty with the thirsty.”

Good morning. It is Thursday, January 2, 2014. Today, we must trudge back to work. The good thing is, we only have two days to work this week.

I still don’t have a new calendar for my study.

Tough choice for the holiday today. There are five to choose from, and while “Happy Mew Year Day for Cats Day” has to be the most adorable thing I’ve ever heard of (Totes McGoats Adorbs), I believe I will have to go with “Science Fiction Day.” I’ve been a Science Fiction fan for as long as I can remember, having been lovingly introduced to the genre by my father, when I was but a lad. I don’t remember the first SF book that I read, but there is a good chance that one of the first few was by the man whose birthday prompts the naming of this “holiday.” You see, today is the birthday of one of the Grand Masters of the genre, Isaac Asimov. So, how about, after wishing your cat Happy Mew Year’s Day, pick up an old Science Fiction paperback. You know. . . one of those with the really cool covers that they don’t make any more.

On this date in 1971, 66 soccer fans were killed in a stamped in Glasgow, Scotland. The home team had scored a late goal in the game, and as all the spectators were trying to leave at the same time, on the same stairway. This was at least the fifth disaster at this stadium, and the fourth involving the same stairway. It was the worst soccer disaster in Scottish history.

Today’s birthdays are Barry Goldwater, politician, 1909 (his birthday was incorrectly listed yesterday), Isaac Asimov, author, 1920, Dabney Coleman, actor, 1932, Roger Miller, singer, 1936, in Fort Worth, TX, Calvin Hill, football player, 1947, Tia Carrere, actress, 1967, Cuba Gooding, Jr., actor, 1968, Dax Shepard, actor, 1975, and Paz Vega, actress, 1976.

Roger Miller was a quirky country singer, well known for his cute, funny songs, as well as some serious ones. Among his sillier songs was this one, “Do Wacka Do.” Miller passed away in 1992 (the same year as Isaac Asimov).


(From The Divine Hours)

Psalm 51:15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 86:1-2 Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

Psalm 90:1-2 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 85:9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

Today, in Reflections for Ragamuffins the reading is called “The Incarnation of Compassion.” Matthew 15:32 says this:

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

We know from the Biblical record that Jesus performed many, many physical healings during his time on Earth. This demonstrates just a hint of the anguish in his heart for the condition of “wounded humanity.” “Jesus resonated with the depths of human sorrow. He became lost with the lost, hungry with the hungry, and thirsty with the thirsty.”

This remains true today. Jesus is “the incarnation of the compassion of the Father.” A quote from Meister Eckhart, a fifteenth-century mystic, says, “You may call God love, you may call God goodness, but the best name for God is compassion.” We call Jesus Christ Emmanuel, God with us. In saying this, we believe that “the greatest lover in history knows what hurts us. Jesus reveals a God who is not indifferent to human agony, a god who fully embraces the human condition and plunges into the thick of our human struggle.”

Father, help me to know this compassion. As I learn from you, as you teach me your ways, may I know this compassion into the very depths of my being. And I do not ask this simply so that I may experience the wonderful feeling of knowing how much you love me. That is only part of the reason. I won’t lie, I love to feel your love. However, I also have a strong desire in my heart to demonstrate that same compassion to others, to be a channel of your everlasting, unconditional love. I find this to be an extreme challenge, as I catch myself being judgmental toward people for various reasons. I pray you take that piece away from me; chisel it away until I find no more judging within myself, but only compassion for the very ones for whom you also have compassion. May your Spirit prompt me whenever I begin to be judgmental. Prompt me, then change me. Mold me, chisel me until there’s nothing left that doesn’t look like you. Make me a vessel of compassion.

Keep us safe today, as we go back to work. May our work day be smooth, and may we face any challenges with your grace surrounding us. Make us aware of your presence throughout this day. Teach Stephanie your way today, and give her understanding.

May your will be done in our lives, just as you have decreed.

May we see the compassion of Jesus in our lives today, and then turn and show that same compassion to someone else.

Grace and peace, friends.

8 thoughts on “A Vessel of Compassion

      1. Obviously, it’s a Star Trek book, and I think Blish may have written more of those. However, I don’t remember a single thing about it. I read it in 1978! 😀

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