Monday, January 25, 2010

Love is the greatest 1 Corinthians 13:1-13:13

Paul wrote to the church about gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 telling the early believer how critical each gift and individual was to the whole body of Christ. In chapter 13 he explained that all the gifts combined allow us to live together in faith, hope, and love.
Many couples pick this chapter, most especially, as their wedding reading. How many times have couples heard these words believing them to be instructions about how to live,

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. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NRSV

Young lovers believe Paul was writing about them. They believe in the power of their love to bear all things and endure all things. This is the kind of gift any human would like to offer a spouse. Saddy no human love can overcome all challenges and sustain us human lovers in all circumstances. We might deny our limits; but denial doesn't mean they are any less real. A wise teacher explained this so plainly it left a class of future pastors and church workers stunned. Years later I think back to those words every time I meet with a couple in any stage of marriage
As parents we dream and pray that we can promise our children love without condition. George Strait even sang about a father's love as a Love Without End, Amen. As wonderful as the promise of a parents to always love and care for a child sounds we have no power to keep it.
We humans are often romantics in love with love; and we are often cynics who believe there is no love. What we are finding are the limits of human love: mortality and falability. We might promise to love unconditionally, but we can't fulfill the promise. Only God can love without end. Only God's love known to those who believe in the risen Son gives hope of knowing life and love that has no end. Only in Christ risen from the dead is there love without end, AMEN.

5 comments:

MILMF said...

im following you.. follow me back!

Philip Gilbert said...

I think Paul was gay. He refers to some 'man on man' stuff in the bible. He's probably roasting in eternal damnation as I type.

Unlikely said...

Philip-
thanks for the comment.
I'd be glad to converse some with you about the 3 topics you named.

1) You say, "I think Paul was gay."

Does it matter to you if Paul was gay? What do you base your belief in?

2) You say, "He refers to some 'man on man" stuff..."

Please name the specific verse you'd like to discuss and I'd be glad to respond.

3) You say, "He's probably roasting..."

How are you sure Paul is in "eternal damnation" as you suppose?

I believe that Paul was a witness to the power of the Risen Lord Jesus. Paul used human intellect and words to explain personal experiences of the Divine that were beyond the reach of human language and comprehension.

Believers today face the same challenge. We've seen, tasted, felt, smelled, and heard God at work. But I know personally I don't have the faculties to communicate all that I have experienced.

Philip Gilbert said...

Hi Unlikely

Please have a look at this YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZF5uQfpbDs&feature=related
She explains things better than I can and is more pleasing to the eye. She makes reference to the Paul man-on-man stuff as well. I don't have a problem with gays but it would seem that god does.

You have tasted god. Can I clarify that you are referring to the old testament god yahewah? There are quite a few kicking about. Always best to clarify.

Thanks

Phil

www.yiggoto.co.uk

Unlikely said...

Philip

I don't have time to follow the link tonight. Perhaps later you can explain it significance.

I know that I have tasted God in, with, and under the bread and wine just as Jesus has promised to be present.

I know that I tasted some of God's work revealed in the continuing wonder of creation tonight (meatballs and noodles) and am drinking some of God's handiwork at the moment.
Pax
Unlikely