Daily Dose, May 10 — Early Believers

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. 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. 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. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8a;13)

We know these words from the Apostle Paul. We have heard them so often over our years of faith. If you have been at a wedding lately, you may have even heard them there. These words of love have really been powerfully influential in how we understand love. What love is, what it is to look like, what is the experience of love like. We have come to understand the qualities of love. It is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud, not rude or self-seeking, doesn’t anger easily and keep no record of wrongs. Does that describe your love for your nearest and dearest?
Here is the interesting thing about these familiar words from Paul. Paul is answering questions about how believers are to live together as a community. Throughout this letter, he has been laying out what a life of faith is to look like and one of the main things is LOVE. Jesus said the world will know His followers by their love. We are the community of believers- this is the kind of love we are to embody. It is the kind of love we have for one another and the world around us. Is it the kind of love people experience when they know us? And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. --Rev. Terri Henkel