Sunday - August 22nd
Scripture to Read Today: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Next year will be my 30th year in ministry. It is hard to believe. I graduated from Capital Seminary in Washington D.C. in June of 1992. God has blessed me with three decades of pastoral ministry. I have preached more sermons than I can count, mourned with too many families grieving the loss of a loved one, baptized hundreds (if not thousands) of people, and officiated at 98 weddings.
That's right; I am two weddings shy of an even 100. God has given me the blessing of being involved in the lives of many families at crucial life milestones. Weddings being some of the most joyful of them.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is one of the most common Scriptures used in weddings. I think it was read in all but a handful of the weddings I have officiated. While the beautiful descriptors of love used in this passage apply to the marriage relationship, Paul wrote these words to the Church at Corinth with a different application in mind. He addressed the love we as believers should have for one another within the body of Christ.
In a polarized, fragmented world, the descriptions of Christ-centered, Christlike love found in 1 Corinthians 13 feel refreshingly radical. They run entirely counter to the choppy streams of tension that have become so common in our culture. Many of these external tensions and divisions have crept into the church. It has been easy for us as brothers and sisters in Christ to harm one another based on themes and ideology of the world. We need the clarity, community, and unity found in the words of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Read the words of this text aloud. Let what falls from your lips settle into your heart. Think about these words, not in terms of marital love, but how they shape your love and unity with other Christians. Then, approach other believers with the same spirit of love Paul communicated to the church at Corinth.
Our call to unity as the followers of Christ finds its root in a love that reflects the heart of Christ Himself!