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Posted September 17th, 2007 by Pastor_David
An interesting thing happened at the Men’s Prayer Group last Wednesday morning. The group has been reading portions of Luke’s gospel every week before our prayer time. Last week we were reading the story in chapter 6 about the time Jesus healed a man during a worship service in a synagogue. A lot of people got really mad at Jesus because he interrupted their nice service just so he could deal with someone’s needs.
As we were reading the passage, someone knocked on the door. Who could be interrupting our nice prayer service? It turned out to be three young Latino men looking for our ESL class. (The class was scheduled to meet in that same location at 7:30pm. They mistakenly came at 7:30am.)
For some reason that interruption helped make the passage real for me. These guys obviously had needs. (Why else would a 20 year old kid get up at 7:30 in the morning to learn about adjectives?) It must be very hard to live in a foreign land, far from your family and home. The question for me was: Would I be like the people in Jesus’ synagogue, and view their knock as a pesky interruption? Or, would I share Christ’s compassion for people in need?
Fortunately for me, I passed the test … this time. The timing of their knock and the passage we were reading helped me to respond the right way. But I have to admit, I don’t always do so well.
In a busy place like Queens, it is easy to view other people merely as obstacles and interruptions. They block our way in the checkout line. They delay our train by holding the door. They constantly seem to be slowing us down or getting in our way.
But our Savior never viewed people as interruptions. He was constantly diverting from his schedule to deal with people in need. His compassion for the lost and hurting was more important to him than any pre-planned agenda for the day.
This is really good news for someone like me. If Jesus didn’t have compassion for messed up people, then he would have certainly passed by me. I’m glad he didn’t view me as a pesky interruption to his plans. What I want, however, is for Christ’s compassion for me to fill me with compassion for others. I am thankful that this is the very work he does in us through his Spirit.