“The Gospels speak of Jesus’ compassion, a weighty word. It was more than a warm feeling; it meant that you did something about it. In feeding the multitudes, you did not fetch goodies from the sky like a magician. You started with what the apostles already had to hand, seven loaves and a few small fish. Teach me, Lord, to use everything I am given. Save me from warm feelings that are a substitute for effective action. Lord, you never let me forget that love is shown in deeds, not words or feelings. I could fill notebooks with resolutions, and in the end be further from you. As William James put it, ‘A resolution that is a fine flame of feeling allowed to burn itself out without appropriate action, is not merely a lost opportunity, but a bar to future action.'”
The phone rang. Missed call. It rang a second time.
She said that she would like to go again to visit her new “friends”. The Blind date was too eye opening for one to sleep at night. Perhaps, it was too overwhelming. Originally, it was about some presents and more importantly being “present”.
Maybe there was some pity. Surely some anger. But the tears were signs of a deep compassion. The Jesus’ kind of compassion. The type that leads to action.
Looks like some more phone calls will be made. She told her new “friends” that the night would be the last time she saw them. She meant it. This time to see stomachs filled with nutrition and the sick being attended to.
It’s moments like this which makes Christmas so much more meaningful, so much more faithful to what God originally intended. "Immanuel” – God with us!
No cheap words here. No empty promises.
Words with some weight. Promises which are fulfilled. God’s presence felt in the most concrete embodied way possible. The message of Christmas expressed in a medium we can all understand.
The light and warmth of God beyond the initial flame of feeling.
Indeed, Christ “born again” into our midst!