Blessings from Butner PC
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35a)
Happy Valentine's Day! The origins of this holiday date back to early Christian martyrs, but it was the 14th century poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer that first linked it to love. Today, it is an occasion to remember and celebrate the people we care about in our lives, such as spouses, children, parents, siblings, and friends.
Love is a recurring theme in the Bible, perhaps the most renowned occurrence being the passage from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. It is scripture that is often quoted at weddings, but as we have discussed in recent weeks, the intent of Paul's letter was to address the divisions in the church. Paul's words were meant to encourage the Corinthians to put their love for one another before their differences. The beautiful words from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 are exceptional advice for the living of our lives, not just this day, but every day:
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. And 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. If 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. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 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. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 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.