This is either a very easy question or an extremely complex one. We know what love is not: shelling a nuclear facility, cutting off supplies of food/water/utilities, bombing a maternity hospital. We live in difficult times.

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At the Last Supper in John chapter 13, Jesus eats with the disciples and speaks into difficult times. One of them is about to betray him. One of them is about to deny him. He will only be with them a little longer. They cannot possibly comprehend what is about to happen.

But in the midst of all this, Jesus does something unusual. He takes off his outer robe, gets down on the floor and tenderly washes their feet. No one would do that. People in ancient times washed their own feet or a slave did it. A leader would never do it. But just as Lazarus’ sister Mary anoints Jesus with a pound of expensive perfume (John 12), Jesus washes their feet. Both are extravagant over-the-top acts of love. Love that goes above and beyond. Love that isn’t earned. Grace.

Let us pray: Jesus you say to us “peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you…do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid.” Amen