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The altar was decorated for Memorial Day Sunday as we gathered to worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. We remember the loved ones we have lost and salute those who made sacrifices for our freedom. Special prayers were requested for Jimmy Easter, Debbie Taylor, Vannie Gann and travel prayers.

Linda Abercrombie gave the devotional from the American Patriot Bible as she shared a story of a generation of patriots and Mitchell Paige who put their lives on the line during WWII for our country. During his service to our country, Mitchell Paige carried the words of wisdom from his mother about trusting in the Lord for guidance. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."

Linda led the congregation in singing patriotic hymns including "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies." We were blessed with special music from Susan Cory, who read Romans 5:8 and then sang "At Calvary." Rick Lett and Wayne Johnson collected the offering, with piano and organ music from Becky and Susan.

Our pastor, Brother Mark Hall, began God's message for us by playing a little Bible Jeopardy and asking, "Who would you want to come along if you were mugged?" Jerry Abercrombie gave the correct answer, "the good Samaritan." Scripture was from Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." To preface the message, Brother Mark told us that no two people are the same, and everyone feels things differently, like depression, physical pain, heartbreak and anxiety. Because everyone reacts differently to different situations, it makes it difficult sometimes to show proper compassion. Brother Mark talked about compassion, the fourth Christian virtue in the sermon series.

Brother Mark talked about the difference between empathy and compassion. "Empathy doesn't cost anything. We see someone in need, hurting, broken or scared, and we feel sorry for them but we don't do anything about it. Compassion is doing something about it, taking part in it."

Brother Mark read Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan. "A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho, a holy city to a pagan city, and was mugged and beaten. He was a victim of criminal inhumanity. People did it to him. He was also a victim of casual indifference because people didn't help him. The priest didn't get involved to help him. He just kept going. The Levite passed on by also. But there was some compassionate involvement when the good Samaritan stopped and helped without being asked. He had genuine compassion. He just saw a need and helped the man. Jesus was the good Samaritan."

Brother Mark told us that gracious compassion is when it costs us something and then there is gentle compassion. "Jesus comes to where we are and takes us to where we need to go. Compassion is loving someone more than they deserve. Jesus does that. We are to imitate Jesus' compassion. Earned compassion is not freely given. Genuine compassion is freely given. It is a dark, stinkin' world out there. We live in a fallen world. We cannot help and rescue everyone, but we cannot let the darkness overcome us. Light your little candle and let it shine."

In comparison, Brother Mark told the story of thousands of starfish washing up on shore. "You can't throw all of them back in the water, but you make a difference in the one you do throw back. There are millions of hurting people. We should ask ourselves, why some don't come and ask for help? They should sense that we love them. Are we the kind of compassionate people that others would follow to church? Genuine compassion is gracious, gentle and freely given." Luke 10:37 says, "And he said, 'He who showed mercy on him.' Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

In closing, Brother Mark reminded us that Jesus gives us time and money. We should use it to help others. Colossians 3:12 says, "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering." Brother Mark reminded us that, "We need to clothe ourselves with compassion, people can see it on you. We should give back some of the compassion we have been shown. If we are given compassion, shouldn't we have compassion to give?"

Our hymn of invitation was "I Surrender All," and Doug Cory gave the benediction. Next Sunday, after worship service, there will be a wedding shower and luncheon for Mitchell Lett and Abby Jeffries. Vacation Bible School will be Saturday, July 14. On Saturday, July 21, we will go see "Samson" in Branson.

Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and the worship service at 11 a.m. Everyone is always welcome at Mill Creek Baptist Church, which is located three and one-half miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90.

Religion on 05/31/2018

Print Headline: Empathy and Compassion -- Two Different Things

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