October 31, 2021 SUMC 9am Worship Service

Sunday Worship Services:

Sanctuary & online - 9AM and 10:45 AM

Oct. 31, 2021

"The Chosen: Indescribable Compassion"

Mark 2:1-12

1.  Introduction: Faith and Film

2.  Compassion Defined:

     a.  “Sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” (Merriam-Webster)

     b.  “The awareness of the suffering of another combined with the desire to help relieve that suffering.”  (Center for Compassionate Leadership)

     c.  “The feelings that arise when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.”  (Berkley University)

     d.  “Love in action.” 

3.  True Compassion Includes:

     a.  Awareness

     b.  Connection

     c.  Empathy

     d.  Action

2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

6 But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7 “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

8 Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

Mark 2:2-12

4.  Biblical Compassion:

     a.  Compassion comes from God’s heart, not ours. 

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Romans 8:4 (The Message)

     b.  Compassion is something we intentionally practice.

          i.  Practice developing awareness

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.

John 5:19-20

          ii.  Practice connecting with other people

          iii.  Practice empathy

          iv.  Practice taking action

     c.  Compassion addresses the deep issues with kindness.

     d.  The different types of Biblical healing.

          i.  Spiritual sickness: the effects of sin in our lives

          ii.  Emotional sickness: effects of past hurts

          iii.  Physical sickness: healing of the body

          iv.  Dying and dead: comforting and strengthening the dying and at times raising the dead.

5.  Conclusion:

“Compassion isn’t primarily about being nice, although compassion acts are often extremely nice. Compassion isn’t about being passive because action is a critical component of compassion. Compassion isn’t about giving and giving and giving, because no one has an infinite well of giving upon which to draw. It isn’t these things because being nice or passive or overly giving are not effective strategies for relieving another person’s suffering. In fact, these can be direct causes of burnout and adding to your own personal suffering.”

Center for Compassionate Leadership

“Compassion requires courage and wisdom. The solution to a complex problem is, by definition, never simple. Part of the solution…is to gain a clear understanding of the root causes of suffering in others. The problems are often like an iceberg—most of the real situation is hidden beneath the surface of what we initially observe…True compassion requires the wisdom to recognize the depth of the problem and the courage to take the actions necessary to address the problem’s roots…Compassion recognizes that to relieve suffering we must address what is deep down, however challenging that might be.”

Center for Compassionate Leadership

“Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic was lying.”

Mark 2:4