Mick’s Memo – Oz Reflections—A Heart
This is the final installment unpacking the “Oz virtues”. Having looked at “Courage” and “A Brain”, this week we focus on “A Heart”. The Tin Man, with an empty chest cavity, was on a quest to have the capacity for emotional response. Interestingly at the end, he confirms that his quest was successful because Dorothy’s departure was “breaking” his heart.
Jesus revealed His heart throughout the gospel narratives and called His followers to have a heart as His prime command…
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34, 35 (NIV)
When Jesus explained the nature of loving our neighbor, he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. The crux of the story is when the 3 passers-by observed the needy victim of violation. Two religiously trained and fully orthodox men saw the man and his plight but “passed by on the other side”. Then a Samaritan—religiously misguided and of mixed heritage came along and “had compassion” or “took pity” on him. The remainder of the parable describes the extensive sacrifices of the compassionate man to put his feelings into action.
That is the kind of followers that bring Jesus’ presence into our broken world. That is the kind of followers who bless people both in the temporal and the eternal realms. The hardships and heartbreaks of life surround us. We all make choices to either “pass on the other side” or “have compassion”. But the compassion isn’t really compassion if it doesn’t lead to actions.
This Saturday is one of our most intentional annual efforts for “bringing Christ’s compassion” to our community. By providing a hearty Thanksgiving meal and a free fun afternoon to families in need, we not only help them, but we show them the love of Jesus. I hope you will join the celebration and personally engage with your compassion. If you haven’t signed up, just show up; I’m sure the team will find some way that you can show Jesus’ love to those who come.
Sunday we will investigate the promise of one “like Moses” that the people of Jesus were expecting.
Looking forward to seeing you!