God's Special Compassion: Strangers

Each week Pastor Sarah offers a devotional reflection to connect with the South Shore UMC Family. Use this entry as a way to prepare your heart and mind for worship. See you Sunday!

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Sunday's Scripture ~ Deuteronomy 10:12-22.

Devotional Scripture ~ Matthew 20:30-34.

In our devotional text for this week two blind men sitting along the roadside cry out to Jesus, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" Their cry says so much:

  • Lord - they recognize Jesus as a person in authority

  • Son of David - they recognize Jesus as a person in authority within the Jewish religious tradition and specifically within/from the historic line of rulers from the house of David, thereby connecting Jesus to the Davidic Covenant.

  • Have mercy on us - they recognize that Jesus is capable of relieving their afflicting, that by his touch, they will see.

The text says Jesus was 'moved with compassion.' In the Greek, being moved with compassion is not a simple fluttering of the heart or a tear grazing one's cheek. In the Greek, being 'moved with compassion' is much more urgent...much more guttural...

More akin...to the sensation...of movement...

In one's bowels...

In Jesus' day the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity. So as a person responds to movement in his or her bowels to experience relief or release, trust this is how Jesus moves in compassion towards us, mercifully to grant relief and release.

When we are in pain, God sees us. When we cry out, God hears us. How boldly these men asked for exactly what they wanted, which aligned with what they needed. That, at times, is my shortfall. I ask God for what I want, but it does not always align with what I need. Discernment is the pathway to learn what we need. And when we have - truly have - our needs filled - I am confident that we will discover that is all we ever wanted.

Reflection: Take some time to share your present needs with God. Where in your life are you seeking relief or release? When in your life have you experienced the gift of God's grace that is compassion? Where in your life might God be leading you to move in compassion towards a neighbor?

Prayer: “This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth's kingdoms: Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done. Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him, and hearts united learn to live as one. O hear my prayer, thou God fo all the nations; myself I give thee; let thy will be done.”* Amen.

*“This Is My Song,” The United Methodist Hymnal 437.

Devotional Resource: The Weekly Prayer Project by Scarlet Hiltibidal

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