series: Core Values
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: October 8, 2017
scriptures: Psalm 34:18, Matthew 5:7, Isaiah 58, Luke 14:12-14, Mark 4:2-20, Matthew 5:48, Luke 6:36, James 1:27, Acts 10:38, Isaiah 49:13, Jeremiah 22:16, Matthew 23:13, Hebrews 4:15
A few months ago, Dawn and I tagged team a message, and in it we talked about something we called “the circle of Mercy.” it is nothing fancy… in fact, in many ways we made it up. But it comes from the fifth beatitude, in Matthew 5 when Jesus says: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Mercy is the only beatitude that Jesus gives us, in which the person who gives it receives the SAME thing in return. Jesus is saying “Mercy circles backs on you,” and when we view this from the perspective of our community… of Courage Church… what we have is a circle of people who are actively compassionate toward one another. It becomes the blood flow of our Christian communities.
If we have a community who lives by this beatitude, what we have are people who see the world through each others eyes… and in a world like that there is no black and white, there is no rich and poor… there isn’t an “in crowd” or an “out crowd”… at least not amongst us.
Because ultimately when something happens to someone, it happens to everyone. If an injustice is done to one, then we all drop everything, and for as long as it takes… we all see the world through their eyes…
that is true mercy. That is ACTIVE COMPASSION.
This is why I said what I did a few weeks ago about the problem with viewing every social issue involving injustice as having “two sides” - because obviously, there are always two sides… sometimes more… there two opinions… or more… ALWAYS…
but if every time someone is hurt by something, you have to stand up, and puff yourself up, and show them WHY another view exists explaining WHY THEY SHOULDN’T BE HURT… then you have completely thrown empathy OUT THE WINDOW. You have completely thrown mercy OUT the window…
But “blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Paul says it like this, “mourn with those who mourn”
cry with people when they are crying.
See the world through others perspective…
look around at what they are feeling, and force yourself to understand why… why does THIS PERSON feel this way? rather than thinking of reasons that “if it were me, I wouldn’t be upset about this…”
you can’t be actively compassionate… absolutely whole heartedly empathetic toward another human being if you have your own opinion about why they shouldn’t feel the way that they feel.
AND compassionate people can’t justify NOT helping someone, with thoughts like this:
“well, they wouldn’t be there… IF”
if they worked a little harder…
if they had done their job…
if they had not run away…
no… you… remember… mercy does the opposite… mercy looks at the person… and immediately puts themselves in THEIR skin… immediately begins to look at the world through THEIR EYES… not to think “okay I am in their skin now… so what could I have done differently to NOT end up here” NO!!!!! but rather, to think: “what do I NEED right now?”
What would show me Jesus right now?
What would open the door to the cross in this moment?
How do we be Jesus right now?
Jesus was ALL about COMPASSION.
and this is the way that we look at compassion at Courage Church:
Compassion sees the world through the eyes of others, and it is stirred to action by what it sees.
Character means that We live publicly like we do in private. We write the Word of God on our hearts, practice generosity, and prioritize integrity.
Commission means that we are a sending church. We honor the past, while we work for the future. And we always believe that everyone’s brightest days are ahead of them.
connection is living a life of constant community with God.
He is our supplier, who is as close to us as the air that we breathe.
conversation means that we bind and we loose together, we learn together, we serve together, and we grow together.
We welcome each other’s perspectives, and we depend on each other’s accountability.
collaboration is all of us working together to create something better than any of us could create on our own.
Contribution understands that everybody has a role, and there is room for us here. We know that the gifts we are given matter to the body of Christ, and we so seek to discover where we each fit.
We honor the contributions of others, knowing that God perfectly crafted each one of us, and only together are we truly the church.
Compassion sees the world through the eyes of others, and it is stirred to action by what it sees. It can not sit by while injustice is done around it.
communion is a common union of broken people, who are made whole by the body and blood of Jesus Christ. We are united by our differences, and there is a seat for everyone at the table.
Courage goes to the places that nobody else wants to go, and works to create places that everybody wants to be. Courage loves the one who nobody else wants to love…
if you have no gauge on what is important, then you have no way to measure whether or not you are on the right track. That is what Core Values do… they keep us disciplined… they keep us on mission… they give us something the bounce whatever it is we are doing, off of, and see… IS THIS FURTHERING THE MISSION?