1 Corinthians 13:1-3
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. 2 If I have the gift of prophecyand 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, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
There is a Knock-Knock joke out there which may get us thinking about this passage on love. It goes like this: “Knock, knock.” [“Who’s there?”] “Olive.” [“Olive who?”] “Olive you.”
What is the Biblical definition of love? Certainly, we can see love defined in reality through the life—and the death—as well as the Resurrection of Jesus. But here in these verses and in the verses that follow (which should be read, too, by the way), the definition of love is put into words. They are classic words at that, these two millennia later, as we regularly hear this passage read at weddings and perhaps anniversaries, and shared on other occasions as well. The words are as powerful today as ever, just as they were so compelling and impressive, no doubt, to the Christians in the city of Corinth two thousand years ago when they received these words in a letter from the Apostle Paul, a letter we now call First Corinthians.
Paul is saying that without love, we are nothing, unless a bunch of noise really is something. He also says that even the possession of super powers is meaningless without love—and he ought to know! If we read on, we see that love is described as more than an emotion, too. We need to hear that in a society such as ours, where way too often what we label as love is as trivial and silly as a Knock-Knock joke saying, “Olive you!” Paul further elaborates on what love is and what love is not, indicating that real love is more action than it is mere emotion. Finally, in the end, Paul says that love is eternal. In this regard, we should realize that everything else we accomplish in this world will one day be left behind, but love will endure. Indeed, love DOES endure. Simply put, and supremely so, love is . . . always . . . period.
At the end of it all, in fact and in faith, only two things really matter in this world: 1) our relationship with God and 2) our relationships with others, all lived out in love –that true love which will never, ever end.
Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (Common English Bible)
Pray for these churches:
Coldwater United Methodist Church
First Congregational Church of Union City