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The walk of an extravagant servant

As I’ve read and heard the Passion of Jesus, and as I’ve reflected on Jesus’ humble walk to the cross as the “suffering servant” announced by Isaiah, I am reminded of this story from the customer service column of a social service agency newsletter.

Some folks had purchased stain from a hardware store. They selected it from the sample color cards and coordinated it with the wood they intended to stain. However, when they were all done, the color was not even close to the color they had expected.

It was so far off that it actually clashed with other décor colors.



A phone call was made to the manufacturer. The company sent a courier to pick up the can to analyze the color. They discovered that the stain had been mixed according to the printed instructions, but it certainly was not the indicated color.

There had been a problem in the printing of the instructions. So, even though everything had been done according to the instructions, the outcome was not what had been expected.




What happened next was totally unexpected. This company in England, by the way told the customer to buy new stain, have the woodwork redone and send them the bill. The customer protested. The woodwork had already been stained and varnished. It wasn’t that simple. So then, the company said, buy all new woodwork, all new stain, hire the work done and send the bill.

The writer noted surprise at such a reaction such extravagance in service!

Isn’t it interesting that we express surprise when someone actually serves us? Isn’t it interesting that true service, going the extra mile to meet the needs of another, humble obedience to what is right, surprises us? Isn’t it interesting that actual service is so unexpected?

Perhaps our cultural surprise regarding such customer service becomes a road block to truly grasping the fact that Jesus was willing to walk the walk of service.

We have a hard time grasping that he would trade in the empty opportunity to be king for our need to be saved! We have a hard time making sense of Jesus’ extravagant service for all of humankind.

This Holy Week, join me as we walk the walk to the cross and beyond. Meditate with me on Jesus’ humility, servant heart and obedience.

Connect with the blessings that we can enjoy by growing our hearts into hearts of gratitude, service and care for others.

I know we will be blessed in the journey.

Rev. Tom O. Miller is interim pastor at Peace Lutheran Church. Good Friday service is at 7 p.m. today; Easter Sunday services are at 8:45 & 11 a.m. April 5. Peace is at 828 W. Main St., Grass Valley (near downtown). More at http://www.PeaceLutheranGV.org or 530-273-9631.


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