Devotions: Compassion

   As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. – MARK 6:34

   What is your definition of compassion?
It was in a Sunday morning chapel service at Cathedral of the Pines, when a 5th-grade camper provided the best definition of “compassion” I have ever heard.
   The Gospel lesson for that Sunday was from the 6th chapter of Mark. Jesus’ apostles had just finished telling him all they had done … they were reporting in. Jesus told them to come away to a deserted place and rest awhile … “they had no leisure even to eat.” They tried to get away, however the people recognized Jesus, they needed what he had. Jesus’ compassion lead the way.
   To engage the campers in sermon I asked them what the word compassion meant. Many hands went up, answers ranged from “kindness,” “friendly,” “caring,” to name a few. One enthusiastic young man with Down Syndrome was waving his hand with determination. With a big smile on this face he struggled to find words, then pointed across Caribou Lake and said, “The Cross!” He is right – the cross is our ultimate illustration of compassion. Jesus, forgiveness, eternal life – God’s promises brought to us through the cross, the greatest example of compassion for all of us. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” – PASTOR KALLAND