This is not easy for me to admit. I’ve struggled with this point of theology for many years. I’ve always held that when it comes to the Body of Christ there are indeed many parts but we still belong to the same One Body. Sadly, it would appear that the unity found in the Body might no longer exist.

Jesus the Christ: my Lord and Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Good Shepherd who searches for the lost sheep, the one who Redeems us all by the blood of the cross, the wise Rabbi who taught his disciples by parables; that Jesus always showed compassion for those who suffered.

When Jesus saw the multitude exhausted and hungry, he fed 5000 of them. No questions asked. When Jesus encountered the blind, the lame, those with leprosy, he had compassion for them even the outsiders. He never wondered if they deserved their situation, he just healed them all. Compassion is the ability to feel the pain that others are feeling. There is a profound sense of belonging to each other that allows us to draw close enough to recognize and acknowledge our common humanity. Even when Jesus was being crucified on the cross he showed compassion when he said, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

I admit that I am troubled with the declining amount of compassion that can found in our world. I’m troubled by how easily some among us dismiss the suffering of others. There is growing evidence that many believe if bad things happen to you, then you must have brought it on yourself and thus you must deserve it.

When we remove basic compassion from our lives we allow ourselves to objectify those who are different from us and no longer see them as children of God who were created in the image of God. This racism is easily excused. Sexism is allowed. Homophobia is casually overlooked. Tribalism is used as a cover for all manner of evil acts.

Thankfully, there are still some Christians who believe that compassion is a defining trait of the faith. Sadly, far too many Christians are unable to show compassion for those who suffer. When Mahatma Gandhi was once asked about Jesus he said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” For those of us who follow Jesus, it’s time for us to show the world that our faith is grounded in compassion.

Peace, Mark+