Our scripture this morning is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It sometimes seems strange to me that crusty old Paul the Pharisee could write such beautiful words. Then I remember he encountered the greatest love of all on the road to Damascus when Jesus appeared and his life was completely changed. I also remember that the Holy Spirit was with him and inspired his writing.
Paul is a great example of how our lives can be changed by love. He was devoted to his faith but was going about it the wrong way until Christ intervened. After that encounter, there was no stopping the love in him.
Notice that there is no mention of giving back or being on equal terms in this. Jesus loved even those who condemned and crucified Him, praying “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Real love is given because it comes to us first from the loving God who created us.
Heavenly Father, we are sorry for the times we fail to love as You first loved us. Help us to share Your love with all our brothers and sisters everywhere. Amen.