If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. [NRSV]
Knowing God’s Part..
We only know part, but the part we know, is love.
There are times that my drama days in high school find their way into my mind. Lines for Cole Porter’s “Any Thing Goes”, “The Doctor in Spirt of Himself” by Molière, or Rogers and Hammerstein’s, “Oklahoma” to name a few. I can come up with lines I once memorized “Progress is the root of all evil. Progress is the cause of it all”, and “e pluribus unum amore vencen omnia, and that sir that is precisely why your daughter is mute” or “I got to Kansas City on Friday, by Saturday I’d learned a thing or two.” But these little snips of random parts in different plays show up in conversations. They don’t capture the plots of the plays and they don’t mean anything to anyone else. There are parts missing the other lines and stories.
Paul writes about us not knowing fully the things of God. Some questions we might ask God when we have time in heaven are not productive to ask from this side of the fence. Usually the most frequent question is WHY? Why did they have to did? Why does it take so long? Why do I have to yield? Why. I believe if we knew the answer to our why questions we still would not like the answers. Ask them later, face-t0-face.
What lines of the drama of our relationship with God DO we know? What part of the story can we comprehend? What does make sense and gives hope and faith to our living? The answer: Love.
Love is the part of God’s work that we can understand. Its the one thing we can learn. Its the one thing we can mmmic and develop in our experience. We may not have all the answers, Paul declares, but the ONE we do have is Love.
Love: It’s what’s for Dinner
The meal of holy communion is a meal of love. Much like Momma’s cheese biscuits, and Mama’s Brunswick stew, and Granny’s chicken dressing, Ms Anne’s Cream cheese pound-cake with chocolate glazed icing, Granddaddy’s first of the season water melons: these are special foods that were not only taste, they were gifts of love for a family that was loved.
The meal we share today is a glimpse of the banquet that is prepared for us, even in the presence of our enemies. The church at Corinth was filled and sounded by folks of differing agendas, beliefs and behaviors. It is no different that our gathering as church now. The meal we share, we do so as an act of worship and a fellowship with God and God’s people. With all God’s love and all our empty words, false ideas, physical limitations and generous gifts, God trumps all we offer, with the power and gift of Love.
Calling All Lovers: It is our season
Not simple because February 14 is just around the corner and guy need to come up with some alternative to a box of chocolates and flowers that will fade, (This is a shameless plug for Letter From Dad) we are reminded that we have a part to play in the world and it follow Christ’s lead. Love.
We may have great faith and grand vision of hope, but the power behind the curtain is our ability to love.
Love is when we don’t keep score of faults, love waits, love prefers to be behind instead of ahead, it yields, it sees the best, it celebrates, it carries, trusts and is real.
Come to the table and be filled with the love of God, that you may love one another.