Lets flip things around this week. Lets start with the words from scripture right from the top instead of listing them at the bottom of the blog post.
1 Corinthians 13
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. 2And 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. 3If 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.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When 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. 12For 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. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.Okay, so be honest. When you read those holy words of scripture you can't help but think of...a wedding, right?
1 Corinthians 13 is the go to scripture passage for weddings. And it makes sense, doesn't it. The Apostle Paul has painted this beautiful picture of the gift of the love -- love's power, love's purpose, and perhaps most importantly how we live in love.
But here is the thing. The Apostle Paul wasn't looking to write the ideal wedding reading. He was writing to a church in Corinth that was deeply divided; a church that needed a reminder on what it means to live in community. So 1 Corithians 12:1-11 tells us about the many gifts that are activated by the one Spirit of God. And 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 tells us about the many members that come together to form the one Body of Christ. It is unity created from diversity, and now we find out that love is the all compelling force that binds us together. True community is rooted in love. The love of God that is revealed to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. The love that we embody when we share it in the fullness of community. And that is a message that we need to hear more often than just at weddings...