Between the Lines: Pentecost 7: Proper 13

Text: Matthew 14:13-21

The text tells us that when Jesus saw the crowd, he had compassion for them.  Write down your definition of the word “compassion” and the first synonyms that come to mind when you think of Jesus having compassion.  Now take a look at the word “compassion” in online dictionaries that list multiple sources. Dictionary.com or thefreedictionary.com are two of those sites.  Also click on the thesaurus links.  What definitions and synonyms for compassion feel familiar?  Which surprise you?  Which seem to apply to the use of the word in Matthew’s gospel?

On November 12, 2009, The Charter for Compassion was unveiled to the world.  It is the result of religious scholar Karen Armstrong’s 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Prize wish.  Visit the Charter’s website, www.charterforcompassion.org.  Read the charter and listen to her short, compelling acceptance speech of the award.  Wonder what it might add to your understanding of the compassion that Jesus had for them.

– Caren Goldman

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