DAY 24: Compassion
Jesus, When Did I See You Hungry?
Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food…
It's not that Jesus is an undercover reporter ready to "catch" us being unkind to strangers and then do a huge expose on the 10 o'clock news. His audience was just as surprised to hear him say that the poor and the needy people around them are Jesus himself "in disguise"! Pretty shocking for a man who just described himself as eventually being the King coming in glory. No wonder the people listening were confused--how is this possible?
Maybe it's because Jesus' life is comparable to that of the poor, the hungry, and the imprisoned. But Jesus isn't merely like them: God becomes a presence in them and among them. God becomes a presence in and among all of us through the Holy Spirit.
Doing acts of kindness for those in need is probably made easier if we're more aware of how everyone is our "neighbor" as a member of the body of Christ, as a member of humankind, and so also a fellow sufferer and person of worth. We are all in need of Christ, and he is here with us in our pain.
What does it mean to be hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or imprisoned?
Giving and gracious God, help us to recognize the ways in which we are all hurt and broken so that we can better know how to serve one another in your loving way. Amen
- Look again at the six descriptive words in the question above, and get creative by making something like a collage or a drawing to hang on your bedroom wall.
- For each of the words, show the ways we normally think of a "needy" person, then show a different depiction of someone that the word could also describe. (Example: we usually think of someone "in prison" as someone literally behind bars. We could also think of people imprisoned by substance abuse, an eating disorder, gambling, mental illness, unpopular political viewpoints, etc.).
- Look over your finished artwork each day as a reminder to pray for many people in diverse situations.
contributed by Melissa May