Summary: A sermonette that ties in with OWSOMS, One week's salary on missionary service.
In The Salvation Army at this time of the year we are asked to respond to the work of the kingdom of God by giving sacrificially. Now this is a challenge, it started through one or two individuals giving of their time and resources so that others might be able to be fed and sheltered.
“General Booth came up with the concept after Major (later Commissioner) John Carleton said he would ‘go without his pudding’ for a time and donate the money he saved to the Army’s mission work.
‘Why not have an annual effort,’ said Booth, ‘in which everyone shall be invited to perform some act of self-denial?’ He announced the establishment of the ‘Self-Denial Fund’ in the 14 August 1886 edition of The War Cry: General Booth’s words;
‘We propose that a week be set apart in which every soldier and friend should deny himself some article of food or clothing, or some indulgence which can be done without, and that the price gained by the self-denial shall be sent to help us in this emergency.’
The Self-Denial Appeal was expanded internationally in 1888 and many innovative projects and methods were used to raise funds.” http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/uploads/file/Lesson%209%20Self%20Denial%20OWSOMS.pdf
Well the idea is still with us as we engage in OWSOMS, or one weeks salary on missionary service. The point of this is that it is sacrificial compassionate giving, Jesus is not putting himself first. As we read the gospel of Mark chapter 6:30-34 we see that Jesus showed great compassion on those around him. He was tired, the disciples were tired, they were all hungry, I don't know about you but when I am tired and hungry I’m also grumpy. But Jesus advice was that they head off to a quiet spot and put their feet up, rest for a while. So as a group they headed off to this quiet spot only to find the crowd had got there before them. Now this is where I'd be getting grumpy, and when I get grumpy I get vocal. “Why don't you lot leave us alone, we need rest, we need sleep, push off.”
This is what Jesus does! No he doesn't, he shows compassion. Why, well Mark says "they were like sheep without a shepherd, they were lost and wandering, vulnerable, and uncared for. Like sheep without a shepherd."
So Jesus began teaching them many things. Teaching many things takes time, takes effort and energy. Jesus showed compassion to these people, he taught them many things. He did this sacrificially.
In life we are constantly faced by situations that we can either react angrily at, or so compassion in. We have all been like those who followed Jesus and the disciples that day, like sheep without a shepherd, in need.
How do we respond to those we don’t understand, don’t like, or don’t know, to the vulnerable needy people of this world. How did Jesus respond, by showing compassion, not just feeling sorry for them but by getting involved in the solution to whatever the issue might be that has left them lost and vulnerable?
In life, daily we are challenged about how we are to respond to others, this week when you are tired or hungry, maybe not having things just the way you want them, when you see others in need, how will you respond?