A letter from Tracy: God is the Source of Compassion!
As I listened to Brennon Manning one day, I heard him say that the most profound scripture he read was in Luke 15 about the prodigal son. Verse 20 says, “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” His statement about this verse never left my mind. As I read this parable today, the running Father moved me, but I did not see this same compassion in my earthly father. However, my heavenly Father reaches down to me every day and calls out my name.
Compassion is the feeling that comes when you desire to help another with no expectation of anything in return. This verse says the father was “filled with compassion.” God wants to fill our hearts with overflowing compassion for others like that of the running father to his prodigal son. Are we compelled to action when we watch Ukraine’s invasion and war? Are we moved when we see the news of mass shootings? Do we act in compassion when people in our lives are hurting? God can give us a heart like his to move in compassion toward those in need. Our prayer this holiday season at CSM is that we are filled with compassion and will use our resources to help families in need without expecting a return. Your gifts help us do this every day.
At CSM, we believe that God has ordained and called the local church to be the compassionate arm of Christ to families in need. Compassion, as shown in the running father story, allows us to run to needs and embrace the communities of need through our partnerships. We feel so blessed to give our resources to the church to see the compassion of the Lord lived out through his people’s hands, working with pastors who love their communities.
Compassion is about embracing and impacting others. When we connect to the heart of God, we will be moved by the mercy of Christ and give it away to others. Through the kindness of the running father, our touching of lives will come when we look at people with compassion and speak to people with understanding. The father never cut off the opportunity for his son’s return. He was always looking. My heavenly Father was looking and waiting for me to come to him over 45 years ago. Our Father is waiting for us to return, working with us to be filled and moved with compassion to share his love. This holiday season, look for ways to serve with heart and allow God to move and fill you to overflowing. Come and serve with CSM or one of our churches. Give as God blesses you.
The father in this story was so full of compassion that he ran to his son. Our Father will run to us and with us if we move toward him in our lives. He is ready to embrace you in your pain, suffering, or cross you bear. Even if you’ve left home and done the worst of the worst, he’s never stopped looking for your return. Galatians 6:2 calls us to carry one another’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ. Indeed, the law of Christ is compassion in action. At CSM, we feel called to serve with hearts of compassion. In the next two months, we will partner to help in 85 locations with kindness in our communities. This holiday season, come, and let’s serve together with compassion.
Previous letters from 2022: