By Chris Rogers
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Or even better yet, Joyous Christmas!
And even better still, Loving Christmas!
Today’s reading is the Bible’s classic Love Chapter. The classic it is, but it is never, ever static, nor shall it ever be!
Worthy of being etched in marble? Most certainly!
Old, dead, passé, irrelevant, or out of date? Not a chance!
Who of us can read this chapter and not in some way be deeply convicted by it? Who among us has always upheld the highest virtues of this simple devotional of only 215 words? In our individual encounters, in our off-line communications, within our families, within our community of faith? Has love always been the predominant feature in all our relationships?
Unfortunately and sadly, I think not. In fact, I know not! I know, because I know my own heart.
We usually do really well with the love thing until someone disappoints or seemingly betrays us. Then, what was love slowly morphs into silent bitterness, then fault- finding, then attack, then defense, and on and on the loveless episode begins … and inevitably ends. We tend to adjudicate our own actions by our stellar intentions, but we harshly judge others by their bare, unadorned actions. We give ourselves the benefit of every doubt, while withholding this same benefit from others, particularly those who have offended us in some way.
On this Christmas Day, let us allow the Love Chapter to instruct us, correct us, guide us, remind us, revive us. There’s no reason to turn I Corinthians 13 into a chapter of condemnation … that would not be love, would it? But this precious passage needs to be etched on the walls of our awareness for time and eternity so that we will constantly gauge our words and actions against it.
And speaking of time and eternity, won’t it be a glorious day when we all witness God’s love winning it all? It’s hard to imagine, but we need to begin dreaming about it and turning our hearts toward it … on this Christmas Day and throughout 2014.
Hope, peace, joy and love to you and yours!