Jesus’ life is a lesson in empathy. He consistently took three radical steps toward empathy that we can learn from. He discovered the details, imagined the individual, and enlisted in their experience. My journey toward true empathy began when I visited a Nazi death camp. I have never forgotten it, and I doubt I ever will.
A challenge to Christ-followers to reject the religious “either or” mentality in favor of a more constructive (albeit more complex) “both and” philosophy. Not only is it possible to be people of conviction and compassion, it’s necessary. Not only is it possible to be people who are engaged socially and empowered spiritually, it’s necessary. Not only is it possible to embrace our race, our faith, and our gender identities at the same time, it’s necessary.
When Jesus was born, love broke into the human realm for the first time. A true love. A radical love. An “I will give my life for you” love that we had never known. A love we didn’t (and still don’t) deserve.