3 May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. 4 He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.
“Contagious” is not really a word we like to hear these days, even if used metaphorically, but today’s text teaches us about the contagious nature of compassion. We hear lots of lines about how “hate creates hate” or how “anger is a virus”, but they aren’t the only behaviors that can spread.
Maybe it’s easy to talk about how kindness can grow from person to person or how a smile can change a whole life, but that infectious act of goodness has a source – God. God first offers us compassion, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, all the words that bring warmth and life; and because of God’s initiation in that, we can also then do the same. God comforts us so we can comfort our neighbor, so they can comfort their neighbor and so on and so forth. As far and wide as that comfort then reaches, it is holy because it is of God, it’s creator is still God.
But the text today not only offers us that, not only acknowledges God as this ultimate course of comfort, but begins with a call not for God to bless us, but for God to be blessed. To give is a blessing. When we show goodness to others, not only are they blessed but so are we. Here, we see the same thing – a communal sharing of blessing in choosing to spread compassion and not anger. Yes, God be blessed for creating such compassion!
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
When has compassion overlapped with blessing in your life? Name three specific elements that make that the case.
Prayer: Giving God, we lift your name up and call for you to be blessed because of how much you have blessed us. Praise be to God! Amen.