1 Corinthians 13:1-13
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. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
This scripture reminds me of a couple of things about my day yesterday….
First of all, I finished the book “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. This book has gained a lot of press lately because of Bell’s promos about the content. In Bell’s book he really tackles the questions of heaven and hell and how God deals with humans. The idea is that Love is bigger than everything else….God gets to be with us and we have some choices. I would encourage people to explore a)these topics to find out what you might believe and b) this book because it gives some great information. It is not much different than the scriptural writer of Corinthians. Paul tells us that love is essential to community and to God. THis is not new information but its a good reminder.
Secondly, yesterday I got to spend some time with some of my favorite people ever. I met up with my friend Kate to chat and then wandered over to Paul, Michelle and Lucy’s house to look at the garden and to hang out. THen we all went to dinner. Now, Lucy’s parents are some of my favorite people but yesterday Lucy was the one that was showing us all how to wonder at the world and how to have a good time. This little girl, who is almost 18 months, is making sure the world is full of joy. Well, that’s what I got to see yesterday her parents may say otherwise sometimes. We read and played and my favorite thing is to watch her do her happy dance. That is definitely a God given gift. We were rolling a little car back and forth and in anticipation, in faith that the car would come to her next, she wiggled in her highchair with complete joy and readiness.
As we were leaving, we each got our Lucy kisses and cuddling and departed. I think both Kate and I thought that we had just seen God in this little girl. Corinthians highlights what it means to be a child and then what it means to grow up. Both are valuable in the kingdom of God and both are needed when we learn love. Kiddos remind us of the wonder and basic faith and then we get to be the community that helps her to grow in understanding as well as just her life in general. Paul and Michelle know just how important that really is! In fact, the community is encouraged to interact with Lucy so we can all be in it together. Love wins.