Compassion

October 9, 2021

Exodus 22.22-29 (22-31)

22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.

2“Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.

29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.

The care of the poor and the outcast is of great importance to God.  God cares about those who are vulnerable and expects that of his people as well.  The strength of the words God gives through Moses here are explained by the end of verse 27, “When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”  God calls his people to care about others as he cares about us and them.  Compassion.

We generally have little trouble living this out in terms of the poor in other places.  Free-A-Family through World Renew.  Child sponsorships through Compassion, Hope and Healing, and many others.  We give to help out those who are in need from disasters – floods, droughts, famines, earthquakes, etc.  But the picture of compassion that we see today is of our neighbours.

We think of loving others and it goes to the ones in other places, but we need to see how our actions show love to the people around us who are in need and are vulnerable.  Putting others needs as a priority.  Tomorrow we will hear a bit about an opportunity coming in regard to serving some of the seniors in the county.  But what about other actions?  Are we thinking of self or others in how we act?

It would be easy to point out how others actions are loving or not.  But we only control our own actions.  We look at our own actions and see if they are loving.  And as we approach Thanksgiving on Monday, we see that our actions are an act of gratitude for the loving grace of God to each of us.  He cared for us enough to send Jesus and allow him to die on our behalf.  Will we love others in a way that shows gratitude for that grace?

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Prayer

Gracious God, you supply us with blessings beyond our deserving.  We thank you for your creation and every sign of your presence within it, for your everlasting grace and forgiveness, for the risen Lord, who has gone before us and calls us to follow him. We thank and praise you, O Lord our God.  Amen.

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