Worship Companion – August 2 2020

Compassion – A Theme to Remember for Every Week

The Loaves and Fishes – A Key Symbol of the Compassion Christ has on All People – Mosaic in Tabgha, Israel, c. 5th century.

We’ve finished with our short series on Apologetics, so this week, alongside the sermon, we’re going to consider how God’s compassion, and the theme of compassion weaves throughout the whole Bible.
Anchor Texts:
Read this carefully and look for the theme of compassion in each one. How do these different texts show us God’s compassionate heart?
The Theme for Kids:
Hey Kids! Here’s the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. What do we learn about God (Jesus is God, remember!)? What do we learn about people? Is there something God is telling you to do through this story?

The Theme in Song:
This week we have two songs, the first is Anthem Lights’ rendition of “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” This song highlights the love and compassion God has for us as it is displayed throughout history in his great faithfulness to us, even and especially when we are unfaithful (2 Tim 2:13).

The second song is a hymn by Keith and Kristin Getty. The chorus of this song reminds us that God’s great compassion is to be echoed in the way we live our lives in the world today.

The Theme in Art:
This representation of Jesus’ compassion shows him personally handing out the bread and fish to people. What do you noticed about the group he is feeding in this painting?

Loaves and Fishes – Sister Patrician Reid – 2000

A Recently painted representation of the feeding of the 5000 miracle. This one is set in Africa and was painted as part of a missionary effort to the Mafa people group.

“Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fish” – Mafa art series, 1973, Cameroon

While not a piece of visual art, J.R.R. Tolkien’s discussion about pity (closely related to compassion) is one of the most poignant and quotable thoughts about undeserved mercy in modern literature:
Frodo: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.
Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.
From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
While we all need compassion from God; we are likewise called to show compassion. This is a true test of our understanding of the radical grace God has shown us–it can be unspeakably difficult to extend compassion to people who have hurt us or people we love. Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of compassion, and art/literature reflect that message of compassion in a way we all need to hear. Ultimately, we must trust the Holy Spirit to work God’s transforming miracle in our hearts each day. Lord, have mercy!
-Pastor Nate

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