Listen to the Prophetic Voice (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56) Claudia Schooler
The beginning and the end of Mark, chapter 6 tell of how Jesus and the disciples were constantly sought after by throngs of people who wanted to learn or be healed or just be near Jesus. Sensing their weariness, he said to his disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31) Often rest was not possible. The people “saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.” (6:33) This was not what Jesus planned.
2020 was not what any of us had planned. Even if it seems that the worst of the crisis has passed in the U.S., we are wise not to leave its lessons behind. As so many of our habitual activities either ground to a halt or turned around backward, we had to look at life in a new way. What was really important? Having the preferred brand of toilet paper or neighbors having enough to feed their family? Seeing the latest movie on the big screen, or staying home to prevent the spread of a deadly virus? Celebrating weddings, graduations, vacations together, or lightening the load for exhausted medical personnel trying to save lives?
We faced all these choices and more. Oddly, in the midst of a crisis situation – like Jesus surrounded on all sides by people begging to be healed – or like us facing a worldwide pandemic – sometimes compassion arises more often and more naturally. The question is, as we resume a more familiar pattern of daily life, will our compassion slip back into the shadows:?
Remember, “God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge, drawn from the nations of the world, that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ.” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:11a) Let our devotion to compassion continue to be uncommon and may the peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ dwell in us and move through us to bless God’s world.