Agape

“The
love of God does not find that which is worthy of His love, but rather
creates it for Himself; but the love of man comes into being through the
lovableness which it finds.” Luther

Paul
found a hard reality when  he reported “the more I abundantly love you,
the less I am loved,” in 2 Corinthians 12:15. Why no reward for his
love? At deeper thought, why the opposite kind of reward did he receive
than what was expected?

“Natural
human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, “It doesn’t
really matter to me whether you love me or not. I am willing to be
completely destitute anyway; willing to be poverty-stricken, not just
for your sakes, but also that I may be able to get you to God.”” This is
a quote from Oswald Chambers.

Jesus, one day girded
Himself with a towel and began to wash the disciples feet. When He came
to Peter He was met with an objection. Apparently Peter balked at the
abject display of pure servitude evidenced by the One he thought to be
his superior. Or was it the penetration of utter selfless agape love
going beyond mental attitude love into activity love, that threw Peter
for a loop?

We and Peter share a
quirk that goes this way: too much blatant fuss over our person makes us
squirm. We wiggle, writhe, twist, slither, slide and turn in
discomfort. Its advancing reaches too close to actual pain.

Jesus
then comes back to Peter in an understanding way and identifies with
his problem, but Peter, like us, flails some more. At this continued
ducking and skirt, Jesus returns, and I’m paraphrasing: “Peter, if no
feet wash, no part with Me.”

Many,
(can we assume hundreds?), went back and followed Jesus no more, in
John 6:66. Peter however thought it over, and his response today
was,”not just the feet but the whole body.” Wrong again! Jesus now had
to make the matter straight once more; that there would be no special
attention given to you, Peter, just unconditional love and unmerited
washing. You are  not a special case because of some supposed merit,
Peter. You are equally needy, as all the rest.

So,
in returning to Paul, isn’t it easy to see why he was loved less, and
even rejected? Don’t be surprised if people we attempt to love evade the
potential squirm; but do we have any other kind of love for them? Only
what we have received unconditionally is of value to give. Maybe folks
want a mutual exchange, or sensual interaction; in their eyes something
both parties can benefit from. Perhaps a person wants to earn our love.
Friends, most cannot bear to watch a fellow human sacrifice him or her
self for us; for me.

In
summary, when it is allowed, agape love rocks a soul to the core. This
kind of love evokes tears, and thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. It
transforms a soul, a marriage, an entire lifetime. It humbles and
breaks, it releases and invigorates. It resurrects, it resurrects, it
ascends, it seats. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Finally,
did you know that tears differ as to their chemical release? Yes, tears
of pain emit a certain combination of our inward constitution. Love,
however, makes tears of joy and these kinds have healing powers in their
rudimentary makeup. Cmon, let Him wash those feet to enable us to go
again to the needy (everyone outside of Christ). Tears, if they come,
will be a balm of sweetness, an ointment of health. Then we can come
back again and again for more baths.  These are showers of love.  Amen

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