Michelle Willis reminded us that God is Love. That anywhere in the Bible, inserting "Love" where it says "God" can help us move loser to understanding the nature of God and God's relationship with us. She reminded us that when the Bible says, "Love is patient, love is kind" it was not referring to human relationships even though we often associate that passage with marriage ceremonies. And it is certainly a good verse to read when we are trying to figure out of someone is "the one" or how we might behave in kinder ways in our marriage and within our families. But the last part says, "Love never fails." And those of us who have known the pain of divorce know that is not always the case if we are speaking of human beings' capacity to sustain a loving human relationship.
So what does all this mean? This passage, quoted below, actually is St. Paul exhorting the church to remember that no matter what its gifts and ministries and attributes it is proud of, that without love infused in all, it is only noise and self-importance.
So Pastor Jeff Brinkman added his perspective on love as a fruit of the spirit. He reminded us that God's love, agape, and even romantic love and brotherly love are entirely different that "loving pizza." The over use of the word "love" really is sad, because real love, especially God's love is so amazing that no human word can begin to properly name it. Fortunately, our inability to name or describe it, does not limit God's capacity and covenant to pour it out upon us.
Today, let us bask in God's love for us and share it freely with all who God sends to cross our path. The word for today is kindness as it reflects love in action.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.