The Way of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 13:1–13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Love
There are seasons of life that become defined by very specific events of births and deaths, celebrations and moments of grief. When we look back, we tend to clump the days, weeks, and years between those moments together in packages of stuff, that somehow pales in comparison to those life-changing events. Frankly, I believe that our minds probably do that just to simplify everything and keep us sane.
However, this is one area of our lives that we will lose out on if we just let it ride. There is a famous saying that, on a gravestone, the most important mark is not the birth date or death date, it is the dash in between… the same spot all the stuff of our lives gets packed into in our memories. We must learn to find life and love in the midst of all that stuff.
For the Corinthian church, more interested in show than in substance, this was probably difficult to understand, but Paul put it here plain, yet beautiful. Love is not in the show, it’s in all the stuff in between. It is patient, kind, considering others before itself, and the greatest thing about love is that it never quits. It doesn’t stop to take a break. Even death cannot stop it.
I think we desperately need to understand that our relationships change over time, but love does not. Usually we want it the other way around. We want our relationships to always be the same or else we get mad and stop loving. In reality, love changes relationships, it does not hold them back or make them stagnant. Real love, always seeking the good of the other holds the door open for change and growth, and does so fearlessly.
Reflection: Where do you experience this kind of freeing, growing love in your family? Where and to whom is God calling you to love this way?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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