I am a little later than usual getting this post out today, but I pray you find it beneficial. I had decided to use this passage from Corinthians for today’s post late last week but I got waylaid a bit.
Please take a moment to go here and read it before we proceed.
We read/hear this particular passage mostly at weddings, but Paul isn’t talking about romantic love. Paul is describing the love God has for us, the love that Jesus shows us in flesh and blood how to live; committed love, other-focused, self-giving love.
One of my favorite writers and podcasters is Diana Butler Bass*. She wrote about this passage in her blog this past Sunday and I found her words so very beautiful. And then I started down the “I wish I could write like she does” path. Before I could take too many steps on that path, however and thankfully, I heard God saying to me, ‘you write the words I gave you the talent to write” and I was able to hear Diana’s words with my soul-ears and not my ego-ears. I could give thanks to God for her words and her ability. Then I could get back to living within my own god-given ability.
I write practically. I think practically. This blog of mine started because I wanted a practical way to respond to the violence in this world and yet the solution is seemingly so very impractical. Compassion doesn’t turn the whole world upside down in an instant the way violence does, but it does impact the lives of those in our immediate circles. Compassion is a life-long journey into the relationships that build God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
And much of the time, I have to intentionally remind myself to inhabit the present, to experience the poetry of every day life, to look into the eyes of the person in front of me at any given moment and see the reflection of God in them.
Sitting in the quiet of my morning, a time I’ve carefully crafted, it often feels ‘frivolous” to just sit with God in the silence. And when it does, I admit it and God draws me deeper into The Presence. I’ve learned that this seemingly impractical time is the most practical thing I do each day. All of my relationships, with God, with others, and with myself greatly benefit from it and I cannot fully be who God created and calls me to be without it. Our faith is grounded in these relationships. Who and Whose we are is grounded in these relationships.
So, back to Paul’s words about Love …
Love is patient, love is kind,
it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude,
it doesn’t seek its own advantage,
it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice,
but it is happy with the truth.
Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 CEB)
Very practical wisdom, don’t you think! Patience and kindness reflect the image of God in which we are all created. Jealousy (better translated as envy), arrogance, rudeness, self-centeredness do not reflect the image of God. Love doesn’t seek retaliation or revenge. Love endures.
Love IS whether or not it is reciprocated because love isn’t a transaction.
And the good news, y’all, is that when we get love wrong, we can trust that God is love and welcomes us back into The Presence as we continue to love and learn and grow. Our life in relationship with God is a journey not a destination.
Love as God loves and as Jesus shows us how to live in love is the most powerful force against the violence in this world. Love enables us to be moved with compassion as Jesus was.
May your day be filled with the awareness of the Presence of God.
*I highly recommend discovering Diana Butler Bass through her website The Cottage. I’m certain you will be very glad you did.