Tuesday of Pentecost 9 – Deuteronomy 7:6-9

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

He did not think much of himself in high school. He was a big kid. He found himself most at ease in two places, on the football team where he played on the line and again on the speech team. His Fridays saw him helping others win glory on the football field. He spent his Saturdays bringing to life the dramatic and humorous words of others. He thought this was just right. He did not want the focus on himself, because he did not like what he saw in the mirror. One Saturday, in yet another otherwise vacant public school, a pretty girl whom he had never known before sat down beside him and just talked to him for a while.

I heard this man relate this story to me many years later. I thought about how his story was probably the story of many of us, or at least I pray it is the story of many of us. We all go through times in life when we do not think much of ourselves. We do not like who we are and cast our eyes longingly at others whom we think to be more successful, better looking, wealthier, or just better than I am. And then someone loves or is kind to us. That changes everything.

The man told me he had never seen this pretty girl again in his life. But she had changed him significantly with this conversation. He still remembered her name. He went on to happily marry and have a family and a career. But he credited much to that day when a pretty girl sat by a very insecure young man in a school cafeteria and just talked.

The reading today tells us that God has set his love on us. It was not because we were special or great. He just does it. He promised but even that promise is located in the simple fact of God’s nature. He loves. God’s love for you is not found in your loveable character, righteous deeds, or even some anticipated response on your part. God just loves you. It is as simple as that. He does not need a reason. It is who he is.

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