1 Corinthians 13:1-8: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Paul singles out love and extols the characteristics of love in 15 direct statements, alternating between what love is and what it is not, what those who love do and what they do not do. With four verbs all preceded by the word all, Paul describes the ideal person of love. One who bears all things, believes all things, hopes in all things and endures in all things. This loving behavior is the goal we all need to strive to achieve.
For Paul, love is fundamental to God’s eternal love for His Son and through Christ for his people. John in his first epistle echoes that same truth: God is love (1 John 4:8). In time and eternity, the concept love remains foundational in divine-human relationships. And, perhaps the best scripture describing the fundamental and foundational love of divine-human relationship comes from John’s Gospel: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.(John 3:16)
We thank you that You love us eternally. That you sent Your Son so we won’t perish, but have everlasting life with You. Forgive us when we don’t love as you would have us to love. Grant us opportunities to love others.
We pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.