The lectionary readings for this week include 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul writes the familiar verse, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Paul is talking to the Corinthians and is letting them know that love will endure, and that it must be the reason and goal for their life. He reiterates that love outlasts all other attributes and gifts. At that time, Corinth was a chief city of Greece with a population that is estimated to have been made up of at least 250,000 people. As such, it was a setting with plenty of immorality and sin. Have we become more civilized since that time? Just today in the news, I heard of a grown man who had raped a thirteen year old girl.
In this lesson are the words often used at weddings because they speak about the attributes of love. In these verses are the well-know words, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud”, and it continues on about love. We see that the words in 1 Corinthians 13 are speaking of God when we look at other verses in the Bible; for “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and “his love endures forever” (Psalm 118:1).
In John 13:34, Jesus gave us a new command, to “Love one another”. In the text for this week, Paul tells the people of Corinth that if any of them has special powers but does not have love, she is nothing.
Lord, you call us to love. Help us to reach out to others through your never-ending love. Also, Lord, help us to become better and better examples of this love which you have given us as a gift. Amen.