(noun): a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who
is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to
alleviate the suffering
"The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, 'The Lord,
the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and
abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast
love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and
transgression and sin.'" (Exodus 34:6-7) (NRSV)
Compassion is an emotive word. It is often associated with a
feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the taste of bile at the
back of your throat.
It can evoke an emotional reaction and a profound desire to do
'something'to make a difference to a situation.
Compassion is an active word.
It is a compelling word.
It is a powerful word.
Compassion and God
"Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart."
Compassion is also used to describe God. God's relationship with
the world and with all people, is defined by love and
We know God's character through God's grace - and we too are
compelled to act in such a way that demonstrates this
transformative compassion throughout the world.
Grace-fuelled, compassionate, discipleship
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get
away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to
take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or
ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live
freely and lightly."(Matthew 11:28-30) (The
As well as the 'inward' movement of prayer and piety,
discipleship involves an 'outward' movement of social engagement,
transformation, compassion and evangelism.
Both movements are part of the "unforced rhythms of grace". Both
are necessary if we are to 'keep company with Christ and to learn
to live freely and lightly'.
As we learn the unforced rhythms of grace, we develop ways to
follow Jesus in the midst of life.
As part of the 'outward movement' of Christian spirituality,acts
of compassionincludes responding to the needs of others. This might
mean taking part in a soup run, getting involved in needs within
the local community, seeking justice and reconciliation, or
undertaking a short-term mission project. Such practices help us
discover more about God and more about ourselves, and help us
respond to the call of God on our lives.
"just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of
my family, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40)
This section is about equipping and enabling people to know God
in their midst, and being confident in recognising the obvious and
surprising places in which God is engaged in the work of
reconciliation in our relationships, our communities, our country
and the world.
A range of areas will help you to develop your thoughts and
Resources section, there are
reflections on how we can act with compassion in different areas
and aspects of our lives.
Links and more
ideas offers deeper reflections and longer
opportunities for training.
Finally, the Stories section is your
opportunity to share your experience, and encourage others on their
own journey of transformational, graceful, compassionate,
- ResourcesExplore CompassionRead more
- Links and more ideas
Check out the following resources to help you further
explore the ...Read more
- StoriesThis is your part of the site - so share your storiesRead more