Hello friends . . . grace and peace,
We talk about love a lot in church. We hear that “God Is Love” (1 John 4:8) and that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” (John 3:16). But we tend not to try and understand the nature of love. What IS Love? What does Love DO? What does Love LOOK like? How does love BEHAVE?
One of the most beautiful and most quoted passages about love in all of literature is actually from Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth (we call it 1st Corinthians). You’ve probably heard it read at weddings, as it should be because love is celebrated when two people come together. But, if you’re like me, you’ve heard it so many times that it gets a bit . . . domesticated. Yes, yes, yes, Love is patient, love is kind, yada yada yada.
Brian Peterson, professor of the New Testament, writes in his commentary that reading this passage at a wedding, or understanding the passage as being about romantic or human love, completely misses the point. “This text was first written to a community of people that was having a very difficult time staying together.” Humans, as a default position, tend to separate and distance themselves from people they don’t like, or folks they don’t identify with, or others with whom they disagree and think differently about various issues.
In that sense, Brian says, we ought not to read it “Love is patient” or “Love is kind”, but rather “Love shows patience” and “Love acts with kindness”. The point? It’s not about what Love IS. It’s about about what Love DOES. And more specifically, what it does towards people with whom we don’t see eye-to-eye. Do we stay, and love? Or do we run away, and separate? Love never ceases to work.
In this month of February, often referred to as the “Love Month”, we hope you’ll join us and participate in all the ways you can learn more about how to love God, be loved by God, love others, and be loved by others. Join us for: (click on links below)
peace to you