Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
Jesus the Great High Priest
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
What is empathy? It’s when you understand the feelings of another, being aware, sensitive and imagining what the other person is feeling. In this text, we are assured that we have a high priest who empathizes with our weaknesses. When we receive the gift of empathy from God we are able to bestow mercy and grace to others in their time of need.
A few weeks ago, I read a heartwarming story about a four-year-old child whose elderly next door neighbor had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When he returned his mother asked him what he had said to the man. The little boy replied, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
When was the last time any of us helped someone cry? When have we been a loving presence in someone’s life? How aware are we of someone else’s needs? As a part of Sheridan’s faith family, we can share God’s grace with loving confidence by receiving and giving mercy and grace to others. It matters.
It matters to Sheridan Lutheran that we show that same empathy to others by staffing Clinic with a Heart. Volunteers help those in need of free medical care with generous hearts and sensitivity to their situations. Doctors, nurses, dentists, volunteer receptionists give of their time and talents to help the many that are hurting. Sheridan members also visit those in hospitals and rehabilitation centers offering hope and strength. We make it our mission to visit someone every day by equipping volunteers to bring comfort and hope to those that are suffering. Our empathy matters.
Good and gracious God,
We thank you for all of the volunteers at Sheridan Lutheran who bring hope and comfort to those in need. Equip us with the sensitivity to imagine what the other person is feeling. Guide us to walk the path of love with empathy. Amen
Written by Janece Nelson
Janece and husband, Mike, have been members of Sheridan for eleven years. Janece is a retired mathematics instructor teaching at the middle school and college level. They are blessed with two children and three grandchildren (ages 7-13). Janece finds her greatest joy in spending time with her family and friends. Her passion is writing devotions for patients in hospitals and rehabs she sees every Monday as a Sheridan hospital visitor. As a Teammate she also mentors girls at Boys Town. Janece credits Faith Builders and Companions in Christ for her spiritual growth.