Sunday, February 21, 2010

Funerals and Evangelism - Part Two

Sorry for the delay in getting back to my blog over the past few weeks - life has been crazy busy trying to organise classes for students starting in various Bible College settings that I am a part of. Love training people but boy does it take a lot of time, planning and effort. Finally, space to breathe and blog!

The day arrived and it was time for me to conduct the funeral! How I was going to get through this was the major concern for me on the day. Quite frankly I just wanted to break down and cry myself as the deceased was a close friend of my family. "Keep it together" I kept telling myself...and for the most part I did.

As the family arrived at the funeral centre, my concern was that everything was as they wanted it to be. As I had walked all week with this family in their grief, I understood what they wanted to happen during the service. What symbols, photos, etc they wanted on the coffin; when they wanted balloons released to celebrate the mans life; how the grandchildren were to wave goodbye, etc. It was a joy to coordinate this for the family and to make this last time of goodbye, perfect! I think it was the compassion that I felt for this family that moved to want to make things just right for them at the funeral.

I think Jesus would have done this. He would have been concerned about their wishes and their feelings during this time of grief. Anything to help is what I think Jesus would have done.

My reflection is this - compassion is just so needed to minister to people. Compassion moves us to action. It moves us to action that is heart-felt, genuine and sincere. If Jesus is the model for ministry, then compassion must be our pursuit. I'm left wondering how we as the Christ followers can have more compassion for people around us.

Compassion has been defined as a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.
How cool is this! The WISH to relive it! Compassion leads us to action NOT just a sympathetic people who see the need but a people who go one step further and relieve the need!

How can we as the people of God be moved more with compassion toward people?
How can this be the desire of our heart?
How can we become more compassionate?
How do we live a compassionate life like Jesus?

Well, I'll leave these questions for you to answer personally or to discuss with a group of people you are in community with.

Chat soon,
Tina

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