Contrary to Christian culture appearances, "compassion" isn't just a buzz word in the Church. It can't be. There are those who may disagree, however I would say to them, Look around and see the restoration being brought about by the people of God.
More than ever, largely because of mass and social media, there is an uprising of churches moving forward the Kingdom Jesus established here on earth. Churches are being made aware of horrible, immediate, and disastrous needs, locally and globally and the Holy Spirit is anointing those movements.
I have not lived enough years to see if and how this Compassion Movement within the Church is a cycle or here to stay for good. Nonetheless, I do believe, this generation I am growing old with, is beginning to see with fresh eyes and move with urgency to redeem what is lost and mend what is broken.
We believe we can change the world.
Not alone, not individually, not as single churches but as a global Church, melting together towards the same goal we were all commanded to:
The greatest command is this, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
I, God, hate, I reject your festivals,
Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
"Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:21-24
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you,
But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
This concept isn't new to my knowledge, but it is new for my daily living. Worship and compassion was something that looked good on paper and graphic design, but when it came time to take opportunities of living this model, I was always hesitant.
Not for any spiritual reasons, of course, more for social and personal. Confession time: I hate talking to strangers. It's not comfortable for me. I'm not a natural artist of conversation.
But I know I have to hear people's stories to hear their need. I have to ask questions to hear their stories. I have to move out of my comfort zone to ask the questions.
I once heard Beth Moore say, "If you don't have money to fill their gas tank or buy them groceries, you can still serve them by asking their name or saying hello. Dignify them."
Jesus began a work, a movement, a compassion movement and then ordained His Church, His body, to keep it moving forward:
[Jesus] opened the book and found the place where it was written,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:18-21
Where there is a heart of worship, there must also be a heart of compassion.
Where there are songs sung and voices raise, there must also be hands reaching out in service.
Where Jesus' followers gather in celebration, so must there also be an open door where the wandering soul can come in for rest.
Dear friends, I am honored to be restoring this earth with you. It's a big job, but it was meant for us.
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*Photos above are from Antioch LA's Compassion Initiative in Santa Monica. If you're local to LA and want to join us every other Sunday at 11AM, feeding the homeless and hungry by the pier, we'd love to have you! Details can be found on Twitter @antiochchurchla or Instagram @antiochla