‘Hesed’: the love and compassion of God

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Second-year Class President Cadet Melissa Jones welcomes the new session, the Messengers of Compassion.

By Melissa Jones, Cadet –

This is a day many of us have been waiting for, and I am so pleased that I can officially welcome the Messengers of Compassion, on behalf of the Messengers of the Gospel. I must admit that it can be slightly confusing having two sets of messengers here at a time, but I do not believe that it is a coincidence. Because I do not believe that the message of Jesus Christ can effectively be delivered without compassion. We can preach, and teach, and evangelize to the whole world, but if we do not do it all with the compassion of Christ, we won’t be delivering the full gospel. For to be Christ in this world, we must be full of compassion.

So many people think of God as the cause of their misery, or someone who is ready to smite them, but I have always known God as merciful, kind, and full of compassion. Last year in Old Testament [class], Captain Annalise Francis taught us the word “hesed.” It is the Hebrew word that describes everlasting love and compassion of God. It is something that is beyond human understanding, and beyond human capability, because only God can love in this way.

I know that personally, once I allowed myself to experience the unending love and compassion of God, it changed my life. It gave me worth, and purpose, and a willing heart to serve. At this moment the world is full of anything but the everlasting love and compassion of God. Entire countries continue to fight against one another, terrorists continue to wreak havoc every day, hate seems to overshadow love, and forgiveness is far from our lips.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my favorite authors and theologians, and was a powerful proclaimer of love. He understood, even as he was being beaten, that love and compassion were his greatest weapons. And that remains true today. The love and compassion of Christ are powerful weapons that change even the hardest hearts of stone into malleable, loving soldiers for Christ. And that is why I believe that the Messengers of Compassion are here right now. They are here because we cannot live without the compassion of God. We need it each and every day, each and every hour, and we need it from you. God bless you all. We are so very excited to have you here.

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