#rejectedsermontitles humanity washed ashore #syria

This week we moved from Sympathy with Syrians to Empathy.

Brene Brown describes it well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw#action=share

She explains that sympathy is disconnective–where you feel bad/sorry for someone else’s situation.

Whereas empathy is connective, where you sit where the other person is sitting, get in touch with whatever they are feeling and communicate about it.

Brene Brown says that empathetic responses to start with at least…Sympathy is saying: I’m sorry your kid is in trouble, at least the other one gets straight As. Its saying: I’m sorry you are too fragile to leave your house, at least your still alive

God is an empathetic God, sending Jesus to be with us and feel with  us, instead of just distantly feeling sorry for us (which is why the clockmaker version of God who sets everything up and never touches us again doesn’t work for me)

We recently went from feeling sad about Syria, to empathizing with parents who feel scared enough to put their toddlers on a boat with the chance of drowning. When, as some people put it, “humanity washed on shore.”

In Hebrews 11, God calls us to be in empathy with refugees, because we are all refugees sharing upon God’s earth. “” All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. people who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own”

We are called to be in empathy from one another, in church, to share each other and be vulnerable with one another. (another good read on this is The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer)

“To read widely…

“To read widely, and often, is thus to hope to be changed, to still believe that change is possible. It is never, ever a waste of time. Be it an essay or short story or novel or article, a good read never goes unanswered because a good read opens up a world that requires our attention. That might be the inner world of the self, it might be the domestic world of a family relationship, or it could be the plight of a whole people.”

To Read is to HOPE!

Boom Fantasy and Christianity in one quote

 

Read more here

Friendship and Pastoring: What they have in common

My mom’s best friend had an abortion, this was back in those days when abortions were even more frowned upon.

She admitted it, later, because she didn’t feel like my mom would approve, due to her Christian beliefs (my mom is now a Presbyterian Pastor)

420 × 294 – rottenecards.com

At that moment, my mom realized that she couldn’t be there as a friend, because she was perceived as being too judgmental….And this woman really needed a friend right then. When a girl from an abusive family gets pregnant an abortion might be the safest option…(or not)

But the point is, that my mom, was not perceived as a friend. It was at this moment my mom realized, she never wanted people to think they couldn’t talk to her, because she was going to be judging them. After all, what kind of friend does that?

She then went on to realize that pastoring has a similar action.
I never preach my political views from the pulpit, instead I preach the Bible and open my door to any who want to struggle to interpret how it works (which is why its dicey to have church facebook friends, because I do some of my political stuff there….but I don’t really mind as long as people realize its my freedom of speech space)….

If I preach all for or all against abortion and you are on the opposite side of the aisle, you probably will feel like you can’t talk to me when you have problems in that area…just like you want friends who will talk to you, you also want a congregation that can talk to you (in fact if anyone has a problem with me, I ask them to tell a session member or *more preferably* me directly about it, so I can address it..what’s the point of a pastor you can’t talk to?)

I will admit, I do have some boundaries, human rights are definitely something I feel comfortable ascribing as a part of Christianity, preaching hate as the Gospel is DEFINITELY off limits, but other than that I (try) to be someone you can talk to…..

After all, I really DO like to talk 🙂

Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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