Saturday, October 08, 2011

A few words about love...

1 Corinthians 13 Image from Cafe Sozo.

(This short message was shared as part of the wedding ceremony for my friends Daniel and Leanna today...)

"1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 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/woman, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a 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.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

The words used to describe love, in Corinthians 13 are: patience, kindness, selflessness, humble, forgiving, truth seeking, peaceful, protective, trusting, hopeful and never ending. This list of character traits is a tall order. Each day of our lives we have the opportunity to seek and live out living a life of love, and that is where a great deal of effort and energy is expended. It is important to remember that living a life of love is not a solitary effort. We can attempt this great task on our own, but the truth of the matter is - we need help to accomplish living a life of love.

This day is a special for L and D, today they have chosen to come to this beautiful space in the company of their family and friends and make the commitment to each other in marriage. Today, you as guests, also have chosen to come to this place to encourage, take part and celebrate the love you have witnessed in the lives of L and D. This celebration is a time for each of us to consider the impact and influence that love can have upon our own lives and relationships.

As I mentioned a few moments ago, the task and calling of love is no small one. In order for love to prosper, it is necessary to know that we must work together if we desire to live lives of love. Even in working together, love's journey can be challenging. The faces we see around us today are not the only source for strength on this journey. In some faith traditions, when making a vow or promise the response to the challenge is: "I will, with the help of God." The names we use to describe God can be vast: Higher power, the Great Spirit, or the trinity of: Creator, Redeemer and Comforter. While the names we use to describe God are vast - our desire for a spiritual relationship and help from God may be even greater.

Love's great task that requires we work together, but we also need to understand that we are not alone in this effort. On this day and the days to come, God is with L and D and God is with all the guests assembled. As we celebrate this day, and move into the days to come; seek to live lives of love, work together in the efforts of that goal, and know that with the help of each other, the community that supports us and God." - love will never fail.

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