August 11: the unexpected

Love is shown in the unexpected. Maybe love means more when it is unexpected.

Reading today from Jeremiah, it is a message we’ve heard over and over again. The people turned away from God and have not returned. The prophet asked, “When you fall down, don’t you get up?” Not when the people fell and did not intend to get up. But in Jeremiah 9, the unexpected: “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed.” God feels our pain. God anticipates our pain even before we feel it. What kind of God is this?

Then John 13 starts off with this verse: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” And we watch as Jesus does the servant task. He washes the feet of the disciples – not because he had to do it and not even because anyone would expect him to do it. It was the unexpected expression of love. And it was not a hard task to do. How hard is it to wash feet? And yet, no one else did it.

Is it remaining after the meeting to clean the table and turn off the lights? Is it picking up trash that you notice in a stranger’s yard? I heard recently how a business man went into the restroom on an airplane during the flight, found it to be a mess and cleaned it. There are times when I have done something as an expression of love and waited for someone to notice. I don’t think love was really part of my motive (maybe love of self). Jesus said, “I have set you an example… Love one another.”

What’s the one thing today that I would not be expected to do but could be an expression of love? It is doing what disciples do.

Today’s readings: Jeremiah 7-9; John 13

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