Saturday, February 6, 2010

On God and Love (you know, the usual)

In small group on Thursday, someone mentioned the 'wedding passage' of Scipture (1 Corinthians 13), and how since God is love, we can replace love with God in this passage.  It's a beautiful illustration of the very character of God, and takes some of the cliche out of these verses.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not God, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not God, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not God, I gain nothing.

God is patient, God is kind.  He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud.  He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs.  He always protects, always truss, always hopes, always perseveres.

God never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfection dissappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and God.  But the greatest of these is God.
I really like this.

One other thing:  In Reconciliation on Tuesday, we were talking about communion and otherness and the article I mentioned in my last post.  One of the most powerful points brought up is that the Trinity is our ultimate example of unity.  The three persons of God are so different and distinct from one another, but they are completely unified with each other.  Our professor illustrated it as three people locked in an embrace of love so strong it can never be broken.  In this they are completely unified, but do not in any way lose their distinctiveness.  In one sense, it is their differences that lead to unity.  Distictiveness is necessary for communion.

How do we take this and apply it in a world where difference leads to division?
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a sense of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6


  1. Your same professor taught me once to look at that same passage not as one that is read at weddings, but as one where Paul is speaking to two people who are Other. He argued that this passage is meant to guide us in our actions with those we have the hardest time loving. I like reading it that way.

  2. I've never actually heard this passage called the wedding passage. yes, this mk might be out of the loop. BUT, I really like the idea of replacing love with God. brilliant.