Sunday (Zoom) message: Compassion, yet also a task

Second Sunday after Pentecost, June 14, 2020

Scripture:
Matthew 9:35 – 10:15

Dayspring Zoom Connect Worship, 2nd Sunday after Pentecost,

June 14, 2020

Gathering

Music prelude: Jesus loves me (arranged by G. McCrostie & B. Kapadia)

Greeting: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you…” 

                                     (Welcoming elder: Sam Malayang)             
            
Welcome and announcements: Sam Malayang

Call to worship:

L: Holy and generous is God,
P: the author of all things;
L: Loving and gracious is Christ,
P: the bearer of our salvation;
L: Gentle and wise is the Holy Spirit,
P: the breath of new life.
L: Come, let us worship God,
Creator, Saviour and Breath of New Life,
with joyful praise and hopeful hearts!

Prayers of approach and for God’s help and of confession: Heinrich

You, dear Lord, are overflowing with love, infinite in kindness, and incomparable in glory. You are the source of all good things. There is none like you in all our imagining. You bring new life forth from death and offer us hope. In You, all things work together for good. Your presence breaks into our lives in many ways and you touch us with wonder. In this time of worship, we offer you thanks with our prayers, praise with our hearts and honour with our lives, this day and every day, now and always.

We pray for Denise Schmidt as she heals from her recent surgery. Carina and I thank You for the safe arrival of our grandson Ryker in the early hours of yesterday. Now Lord, amid the distractions of these days, give us undivided hearts and attentive minds, dear Lord, so that we might listen for your truth and discern your guiding Word, through Christ, your living Word.

We turn to you in confession…Wise and patient Lord. We confess that we often stray from your presence. You have offered us peace, yet our lives feel frustrating and unsettled in these times. You offer us compassion, yet we feel neglected and resentful amid life’s challenges. You offer us a mission with meaning and purpose, but we become preoccupied with our own plans and desires. Forgive us, dear Lord, and draw our attention back to You so that we follow your guidance and trust you as our Shepherd, we now pray personally…

Assurance of God’s forgivenessHeinrich

The Lord our God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace with God, with yourself and with one another.

Children’s time:    

Story time:
Peter introduce the topic: 2020 Graduation Celebrations
Peter: Introduce Mongeh
Saul: Introduce Fionna and Sylvanna and present the Bibles
Darlene: Introduce Saul
Darlene will close with a short prayer.

Music meditation:  Lord Jesus, You shall be my song …

(composed by: Les Petites Soeurs de Jesus; arranged by G. McCrostie & B. Kapadia)

Scripture reading: Sam Malayang

Matthew 9:35-10:15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Harvest Is Great, the Laborers Few

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

The Twelve Apostles

10 Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

The Mission of the Twelve

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Message: “Compassion, yet also a task”

When you hear the word compassion, it rings a bell that’s on a similar level to love and empathy. Caring comes along with it. It’s so heartwarming to experience genuine compassion. It’s equally delightful to pour out compassion to people who are in dire need of someone caring for them. Compassion can be defined as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” [i]

That is what Jesus had for the crowds when He saw them. Jesus had compassion for them, “…because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

The word used here, refers to the “bowels” or the “heart”, Jesus’ entire inner being, to his stomach, or his gut feelings. That which moves Him fully so that He showed a heartfelt mercy, not just sympathy, rather real compassion.

Here’s an anonymous quote on what the difference is between sympathy and compassion:

Sympathy looks in and says, “I’m sorry.” Compassion goes in and says, “I’m with you.”

Sympathy look in and says, “I would like to help.” Compassion goes in and says, “I am here to help.”

Sympathy says, “I wish I could carry your burden.” Compassion says “Cast your burden on me.”

Sympathy often irritates with many words. Compassion helps and hears in quietness and understanding.

This is the heart of God. This is the reason why God became flesh and blood and walked in our shoes on earth in the person of Jesus. How does Jesus’ compassion happen in our lives? I think it helps seeing what Jesus said next. We read: “Then (Jesus) said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Human beings like us get to be those labourers. The Spirit of God plants compassion in us, the same Godly compassion that Jesus was showing. Not just sympathy, real compassion.

There is a story that I think illustrates the difference between sympathy and compassion and demonstrates what a huge impact the act of compassion can make in another person’s life.

There was a young boy, let’s call him Mark, who was walking home from school one day when he noticed that another boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove, and his cellphone.

Mark knelt and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped the boy carry part of the burden. As they walked, he found out the boy’s name was, let’s say, Bill, that he loved video games, baseball, history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects.

They arrived at Bill’s home first, and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to hang out and play some games. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk; then Mark went home.

They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once in a while, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally, the long-awaited senior year came, and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother’s sleeping pills, and I was going home to complete suicide. But after we spent time together talking and laughing, I realized that I didn’t want to die. I would have missed that time with you and so many other good times in my life that followed. What I am trying to say, Mark, is when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life.”

Compassion is something you can develop with practice. It involves two things:  intention and action. Intention is simply opening your heart to others and action is what you do about it.

Mark made a decision to open his heart to another person in need. Once he did that he made a decision to help that person.

It was a small gesture and only took a few moments for all that to happen but that is how compassion works. As Mother Teresa reminds us, “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love.” [ii]

People with compassion are moved by God’s Spirit to live out the compassion that Mark showed towards Bill, totally unaware what the effects would be.

The task is out there, for each of us, to be Jesus’ hands, eyes, ears, feet, going out to make this world a place where people may know that they are listened to, understood, cared for and supported.

This is the reason why Jesus calls us along with the twelve disciples, along with Mark in Bill’s life, to make God’s compassion credible.

In this time, someone has to live and bear witness to the fact that God lives, even in these times. In this time, someone has to live as a clear sign of Christ’s love.

Yes, we may ask ourselves, “Why shouldn’t that witness be me?” [iii] Amen

Song:

Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey.
I’ll tell everybody about you wherever I go.
You alone are our life and our peace and our love.

Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey.

Lord Jesus, I’ll praise you as long as I journey.
May all of my joy be a faithful reflection of you.

May the earth and the sea and the sky join my song.
Lord Jesus, I’ll praise you as long as I journey.

As long as I live, Jesus, make me your servant.
To carry your cross and to share all your burdens and tears.

For you saved me by giving your body and blood.
As long as I live, Jesus, make me your servant.

I fear in the dark and the doubt of my journey;
but courage will come with the sound of your steps by my side.

And with all of the family you saved by your love,
we’ll sing to your dawn at the end of your journey.

(composed by: Les Petites Soeurs de Jesus; arranged by G. McCrostie & B. Kapadia)

Prayer of gratitude: Heinrich

Thank You for inspiring us as followers of Christ to grow in compassion. Thanks for compassionate folks in our congregation. Thank You, Lord for guiding us on a daily basis. Thanks for your protection.

Reflection on giving: Sam Malayang

We give because we are the recipients of God’s overflowing love. We give because our givings support our minister and the church staff who enable us to be a community of Faith and Care. We give in order to take care of our building – an inheritance from those who have gone before us and from the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Our building is one of the ways in which we offer care to our community. We give in order to be able to meet together for worship via the internet. We give to support the ministry and mission of the Presbyterian Church in Canada across our nation and throughout the world. And in these days of COVID-19 distancing, we do our giving in the various ways described on the screen and in the Dayspring Weekly News.

Let us pray: Heinrich

Dear Lord, our Good Shepherd, we are so grateful that You guide us through even the most difficult times. Bless our gifts and make them signs of your presence at work in the world for those who need to be embraced by your love and your strength through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing: Heinrich

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:13)

Visiting


[i] Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary

[ii] Deana Landers, “The power of compassion”, https://www.morningcoffeebeans.com/2019/10/07/the-power-of-compassion/

[iii] Yme Woensdregt, “Sacraments of Christ’s love”


Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church

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