If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Can I be cliche and talk about love during this month of Valentine’s Day? I don’t know about you, but these last few months in our country have seemed to yield everything but love. We have anger and division and frustration and court cases and politicking and shouting and debating, but love? The kind of love that casts out fear and rejoices in truth? I haven’t seen much of that.
These verses from Corinthians are most often used at weddings, touting the way two people are supposed to behave in a committed relationships. Paul actually wrote them to the divided church at Corinth; a community whose gifts were superior and who was preaching and teaching the most faithfully. They were written not only for two people, but for peoples who were angry and divided and frustrated and shouting and debating. Maybe these are exactly the words we need to hear during this strangely familiar season. History indeed repeats itself.
The love our Creator holds for us, is the love we’re called to hold for each other. And, it is a patient, kind, hopeful kind of thing. The text really needs no more illumination, it simply needs sat with. It needs prayed over. It needs to seep deep within our weary souls. I invite you to do just that…take a moment and read the passage again; Valentine’s Day or not, this is the life to which we have been called.
Holding onto Love,