07 December 2011 Midweek Manna

Show Compassion This Christmas Season

                In Mathew chapter 8 Jesus had just come down from delivering his famous sermon on the mount, and encounters a man described as being a leper.  This is the recorded story of the interaction: “Lord if you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, I will be clean.  And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Mathew 8: 1-3 ESV) 

                In the time of the New Testament, leprosy was the most dreaded disease.  The condition rendered the body a mass of ulcers and decay.  Fingers would curl and gnarl.  Blotches of skin would discolor and stink.  Certain types of leprosy would numb nerve endings, leading to a loss of fingers, toes, even a whole foot or hand.  Leprosy was literally death by inches.   In addition to enduring great physical pain, lepers were also considered to be social outcasts, and forced to live in leper colonies away from the rest of normal humanity.  Yet, during this time period their lived a man named Jesus, who was countercultural.  He did not shy away from those who were in need.  Rather, he bestowed compassion upon them.  What is compassion? Chaplain Corbin L. Cherry, Ph.D. described it as, “Reaching out to someone and lifting them up, even though we do not know them or anything about them.  It is not feeling sorry for someone, but rather it is feeling empathy for that person.”  So, compassion is reaching out and touching someone when they feel as if no one else wants to do so or they might feel unlovable.

                This Christmas season you will be buying gifts for your loved ones and planning vacations with your families. During this time, do not miss the reason for the season.  God sent His Son into the world to touch those who were unloved.  I encourage you to model the life of Jesus Christ.  Reach out and touch someone who is in need and show compassion this Christmas season.  Give to a charity, buy a stranger a meal, visit the elderly in a retirement community, or volunteer to feed the less fortunate at a local soup kitchen.  Your kindness will mean more then you will ever truly understand. 

                Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

                In Your Service,

                                Chaplain Myers

This message comes to you from prospective Command Chaplain, LTJG Brian Myers.

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