Dear Families and Friends
1 Corinthians 13 is both a wonderful reminder of what love is and how it is expressed, yet it is also very challenging when one reflects on their ability to express such love.
"If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.... 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"
This is a scripture that many of us would have read and heard preached on numerous occasions. Often, I have been encouraged to replace the word love in verses 4-7 with my own name, only to stumble at the first hurdle, Mark is patient… This quickly reminds me of how dependent I am on God to help fulfill this true expression of love.
No greater demonstration of love has been shown than the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for us. It is because God first loved us that we are able to love in return. May we continue to spur each other on to love as expressed in this scripture.
In Psalm 103, David’s praise of God in response to his love is a great encouragement.
"1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."
After what has seemed like a long winter, I look forward to spring with longer and hopefully warmer days. However, whether in the depths of winter or with the anticipation of upcoming sunny days, I pray that as a Christian community we will delight in praising God and reflecting his love in all circumstances.