In the Church of the Nazarene our stated mission is to “Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations.” The central and pivotal word in that statement is “Christlike.” What does it mean to be Christlike? A commentary I read recently stated that more than any other descriptor of Jesus in the gospel accounts is “compassionate.”
Jesus is noted to have expressed compassion for the hungry, the sick, the grieving. Matthew recorded that when Jesus “saw the crowds he was filled with compassion.” Luke wrote that when Jesus saw a widow on the way to bury her son “his heart went out to her.” Mark introduced Jesus via his encounter with a leper whom Jesus touched because of his compassion.
Compassion sees the hurts and sorrows of others. Compassion feels with another person. Compassion does what it can to alleviate suffering.
Earlier this year I asked all our churches to appoint a Nazarene Compassionate Ministries facilitator. To date I have record that about three-quarters of our churches have done so. These persons have been asked to acquaint their local church with the needs of people around the world and identify opportunities to assist concerning those needs through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. I encourage you to learn more yourself by going to NCM.org.
As the year unfolds it is my intention to tell the stories of what our churches are doing through NCM. Already some of the churches have demonstrated beautiful and extraordinary acts of generosity and compassion. I cannot imagine what might happen as each church embraces the Christlike heart of compassion.
Grace and peace to you,