This half-term, in our classrooms and during Worship altogether, we are exploring the Christian Value of Compassion.
Compassion literally means 'to suffer together'.
Although it involves a feeling of sympathy towards someone who is suffering, it is much stronger than simply 'feeling sorry for them' - it involves putting yourself in someone else's shoes, feeling what they feel and acting upon your desire to help them. It is doing, not just thinking or saying.
We can think of Compassion as being in our hearts and in our hands. Although at first, it is the emotion of understanding someone's pain or suffering and wanting to do something to help (from our hearts), it is more than emotion - it is actually taking action (offering our hands). During the next few weeks, there will be a number of opportunities for us to show compassion - as part of Remembrance week, Children in Need and then as we enter Advent.
Jesus showed compassion towards the 'harassed and helpless crowds' (Matthew 9:36) and His works of healing were always prompted by compassion for people's suffering. For example, He wept at the death of Lazarus and felt compelled to act.
The story of 'The Prodigal Son' is one that we discuss in school regularly. In this parable, the father does not just show his son forgiveness when he returns, he is compassionate - he understands all that his son is feeling and responds by giving him everything that he needs: a whole-hearted welcome, acceptance and love.
Click here to download our Compassion 'Home-School Values' sheet. It includes one of the stories from the Bible that we will be sharing over the next few weeks - The Good Samaritan - and some ideas that help us to understand what it is to be compassionate.