Compassion, Empathy, and Service
The Bible says that Jesus was the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). To look at Jesus was to look at God enfleshed in skin and bones. The Bible says that God is love. So to be loved by Jesus was to be loved by God. On the night that Jesus was betrayed and delivered into the hands of injustice he chose to share a meal with twelve of his closest friends. This symbolic meal was a preview of just how powerful and transcendent his love was, and still is.
John 13:1, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” We are told that Jesus picked up a towel and began to wash the feet of his friends. A beautiful picture of humility. A beautiful, timeless example of compassion, empathy and service. Not just toward his friends but also to an enemy. Because one of the friends at the table was soon to become a betrayer. Jesus chose in that moment to wash the feet of his betrayer…the ultimate bully.
When the meal was finished he left his friends with these words, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
To love as Jesus loves is to love and serve the bully and betrayer. This is extreme love that looks into the face of injustice and holds out hope for restoration. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice.”
One School’s Response is to choose the latter. May we always be extremists for love and justice as we follow the example of Christ!
Does empathy and compassion need to be taught?
How would you go about "teaching" empathy?
How might the world change if our children were more empathetic?
In this room you find hundreds of white towels. The color white is significant because it depicts light, restoration, and holiness. Our journey started in darkness and ends in light. The towels are used to symbolize service. When Jesus, the God of the universe, wrapped a towel around his waist and washed the disciples’ feet, he left us with an inspired visual for greatness … service!