Matthew 9:36 – When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (RSV)
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. (RSV)
Yesterday I decided to return a movie on Digital Video Disk that I had rented. Returning from the store by my normal route, I quickly realized, as I entered the freeway, Highway 427, that I was in trouble. Nothing was moving! Fortunately I was able to drive on the shoulder a short distance, and so turn off the busy highway at the next exit. I congratulated myself for having avoided a great waste of time. Later, on the evening newscast, I learned that the tie-up was due to a serious accident in which two young men, one planning to be married in a short time, were instantly killed. While I was going about my trivial pursuits, in the twinkling of an eye, two men, whose lives should have run pleasantly for many years, were thrust into eternity. I felt a small pang of the immense compassion Jesus had for us all when He came to earth to set us free. I wonder if those young men knew Jesus. Did anyone ever have the boldness to share with them the good news of His promise of eternity with Him in glory? Have I — have we all — in this busy, modern age, lost our compassion for those who know Him not?
As I return to the trivial pursuits of my life, I know I am determined to try harder than ever before to spread the gospel, God's good news, whenever and wherever. Let us all, moved by the compassion of Christ, seek every way possible to make sure that no one we know dies without the assurance of everlasting life in Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, whose heart was moved for the people who stood before You in Galilee, melt the hardness of our hearts. Tenderize our minds. Inspire us to action for the sake of those who, today, are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Amen.