March 20, 2013

Love can appear out of nowhere

By Saralyn Murray, a senior American Sign Language major from Orrville, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:28-40 (NRSV)
DEVOTIONAL:

In the midst of an Ohio winter, nothing expresses love like a singing valentine. As a high school student I had the privilege of traveling all over the community singing to unsuspecting recipients on that annual holiday. We would walk into different businesses, schools or homes unannounced and sing a love song. We surprised each person and it was so fun to see the reaction on their faces. Then, just as quickly as we arrived, we were gone.

“Flash mobs” are everywhere. In our Scripture today, a common Nazarene named Jesus entered the city riding on a colt, and it took the crowd by surprise. But just as quickly as the parade started, it was over.

Often life seems normal and ordinary, and suddenly love appears out of nowhere. I wonder if the bystanders were left with the warm glow of having witnessed the Messiah.

SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:28-40 (NRSV)
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” just say this: “The Lord needs it.” ’ So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ They said, ‘The Lord needs it.’ Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,
‘Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!’
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’

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Comments (8)

  1. Thank you for these beautiful thoughts and the reminder that “love can appear out of nowhere”. I will keep that reminder with me today as I watch for surprising glimpses of God’s love.

    Susan March 20, 2013 |
  2. Saralynn — thank you for the very insightful thoughts. By the way, our youngest offspring, Dr. Jill Morford, teaches Cognifion at Univ. of New Mexico. If you are interested in graduate work, UNM might be a good place to go. Also, she and her husband, Dr. Achim Oberst who also teaches at UNM, and their three children are active a Albuquerque Mennonite Church.

    Norm Morford March 20, 2013 |
  3. Thanks for the reminder to stay awake.

    W Houser March 20, 2013 |
  4. What a great reminder…love appearing from nowhere…thanks…I am going to be looking this Lent season for love to appear when I least expect it!

    Justine March 20, 2013 |
  5. I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned from all YOUR Lenten missives. I especially like the applications to our daily lives in the Cosmos. Everything IS evolving and you ‘evidence’ this. Thank you and Happy Easter…and Holy Week.

    Judith Simon March 20, 2013 |
  6. Those unexpected expressions of love are so precious.

    Mary K. Mishler March 20, 2013 |
  7. What a simple and inspiring analogy! It really connects our modern life to the Bible story in a real way. Thank you for your interesting thoughts Saralynn.

    Mary Roth March 20, 2013 |
  8. Saralynn, I loved the idea of Palm Sunday as the original flash mob. For our Palm Sunday service in Corvallis, Ore., yesterday, I arranged with a few members of the congregation to set off party poppers at the end of the first hymn as a way to recapture some of that sense of surprise and celebration. Thank you for the very meaningful reminder that sometimes love comes out of nowhere.

    Cathleen Hockman-Wert March 25, 2013 |