“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. For 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. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. “
There are very few scripture passages I get excited about. 1 Corinthians 13 is one of them. Back in the day, our church’s bulletin contained printed inserts with the scripture readings of the day. I keep the insert from 1 Corinthians 13 in the top drawer of my office desk and read it often. We usually hear it at weddings. But it touches all of us in our everyday lives.
Learning to love is a lifelong endeavor. It is easy to get angry and to hate and to carry grudges. It is also tiring as those toxic feelings eat away at your insides. Faith and hope, however, steer our daily lives as we strive to achieve our goals whatever they may be. Then there is love. We know how to love our parents, our spouses, our children and grandchildren, our pets…but what about each other? How do we love each other?
It is hard work. It is not easy. Humans are not perfect. We all screw up, sometimes a lot, and hurt other people and ourselves. That is our first great commonality. And it is okay to be angry and hurt…but then let it pass.
There is a second great commonality. Death is the great equalizer. God has pointed a way through the second commonality into his great love. Our challenge is to get a head-start on that great love by looking at each other, know we are not perfect, know that we are all going to screw up, and know that we are all going to pass to another life…and in that life love will prevail.
A foretaste of God’s quiet understanding of love is ours to take now. The Broadway musical Rent talks about the Seasons of Love. "How do you measure a year?" the song asks. How we live. How we die. How we love. The greatest of these is love.