A Word From The Pastor: Dr. Timothy Nelson

 

 
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity..” (1 Corinthians 13:13)


Paul underscores the primacy of love in 1 Corinthians 13 because it is the spiritual resource the Corinthians lacks most. Paul describes “the work of love” in both positive and negative terms. On the positive side, Paul says love is: patient, kind, and selfless. It involves truth-telling, fortitude, constancy, and tolerance
(1 Corinthians 13:4-5,7).

In terms of what love “is not,” Paul says it is not self-seeking, short-tempered, and offensive. In other words, love does not hurt people. It does not damage prospects for authentic community. Love does not impede affirmation of another’s humanity. Love is the only means by which believers have a chance to live fully in the knowledge and fellowship of God. All other spiritual gifts and human achievements provide limited access to that reality
(1 Corinthians 13:8-12).

Make no mistake. The love Paul is talking about here is not passive and fluffy. This kind of love is an up at dawn, feet on the ground, tools in hand, working kind of love. It builds communities. It nurtures positive social interactions, and not just social networks (which many of us have come to prefer). Paul’s declaration of love unifies. Love is the way by which we talk to each other
(1 Corinthians 1:5; 16:20), eat with one another (1 Corinthians 8:13; 10:27; 11:33-34), fellowship together (1 Corinthians 11:20), and affirm all (1 Corinthians 16:15-16, 18). Love transcends our self-imposed caste systems and personal biases. It forms whole and holistic people, who are anchored in the well-being of others. Love will not let us down if we genuinely live in it together (1 Corinthians 16:14).


Adapted from: http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspxcommentaryid=2595

 


Background image by  ~ Silver and Gold and Thee ~