God’s compassion for you is central to the gift of Christmas


If God wanted to simply tell us a message of give us an example, he could have sent someone else.  The one thing he could do by coming to us, is to be with us in our suffering. In other words, he has compassion on you; he wants to be with you in what we’re going through. Christmas and in fact, the whole of the gospel can be explained in these terms.  God comes to be with us.

Compassion is central to how God approaches us – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise (even if they claim to be Christian). The cross tells us that there is no limit to God’s compassion – i.e. he is with us no matter what we’re going through.  He never says, “That’s enough!  From here on, you’re on your own.”

I look back to the end of 2015, where this became much clearer to me at a men’s retreat. I had moved from India about 1.5 yrs earlier and had become more aware of various anxieties and fears in my heart. Hearing about and experiencing God’s compassion helped me shift in my heart from the unrealistic desire of no longer having any feelings of anxiety and fear to the desire to better accepting & processing these feelings, by sitting together with Jesus in them and experiencing his compassion. It started me on a journey of deeper understanding, healing and freedom. Or in theological terms – salvation.

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What’s your understanding of the church?

The Bible uses various images to describe the church, to help us understand its many facets. When I came across this meme a few years back, it stayed with me, because it helped me better understand the church as a type of ‘spiritual gym’ which I am a part of, because it’s a space where I can receive God and other people’s help, to keep working on my many dysfunctions and become healthier over time. It also helps overcome false images of the church – like the understanding that it is an exclusive club for those who claim to be perfect or morally superior than others.

Growing in a Relationship of Mercy as couples

Through experiencing my wife’s love when I fail /least deserve it, has made me more grateful for our relationship, because it has taken away the fear of being punished /rejected for my failures. I also feel closer to her as a result. And it has helped me to become more merciful myself.

Witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection

The theme of ‘witnesses’ – people who’ve experienced something – speaks to something that is really distinctive to the Christian faith. Christianity is not a philosophy – though it can incorporate philosophy; it’s not primarily a mysticism – though it can incorporate mysticism; it’s not a religion that comes welling up out of natural experience – though it can accommodate that. Christianity is about something that happened; and there were witnesses of it. Without that, Christianity falls apart.