Dear friends in Christ,
This Sunday, Episcopalians will hear Paul’s famous “love” passage from 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.” Like many couples, my husband and I heard this passage at our wedding. Lately, however, many couples shy away from the “love” passage precisely because it’s read so often at weddings.
That’s too bad, because Paul has something important to say about love. Although we associate his words with weddings, Paul is not talking only about marital love, but about something much larger: the love all Christians should have for each other. Christian love, he says, is not a feeling. It is a decision Christians make every day, indeed every hour. Love is how Christians are called to act, not feel, toward others.
Our human inclination is often to act without love: boastfully, resentfully, insisting on our own way. We assume that love, if it is real, will make us happy. Paul insists that love also brings challenge. Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends,” he says. Such love is a gift from God—a gift received anew every day as we ask God to strengthen us for the Christian life.
In a world full of boastfulness, resentment, and wrongdoing, let us challenge ourselves to love: love that is patient and kind, love that rejoices in the truth, love that never ends. As Paul says, faith, hope, and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love.
Yours in Christ,
Susan Brown Snook
Canon for Church Growth & Development in the Diocese of Oklahoma
Today’s Flash Sale: Are We There Yet? Pilgrimage in the Season of Lent
Whether we’re taking the trip of a lifetime or the trip simply feels like it’s taking forever, the question on everyone’s lips is: Are We There Yet? As we make our way through Lent, we will come to realize that the journey—the wrestling and the wandering—is the real flesh and blood of our endeavor.
Our companions on this Lenten journey are fellow pilgrims, sharing their stories about following yellow arrows along the Camino and white blazes through the Appalachian Trail to bearing witness to the pain of historic lynching sites in the American South. Contributors recount their search for healing and wholeness at Marian shrines, in a reunion with birth parents, and around a prayer circle in a mental hospital.
Join us as we make our way toward Jerusalem with Jesus. Through this holy season, may we be open to the miracles of love and life, awestruck by the One who is both our journey and our destination.
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