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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Today’s Scripture Reading | Corinthians 13:1–13          

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. (NRSV)

Today’s scripture reading is one that many of us have heard countless times over the years, particularly at weddings. Paul sums up pretty well what love is and what love should not be: love is patient, kind; it is not jealous, boastful, proud, rude; and the list goes on.

Love is patient. What has my level of patience been so far today? My daughter was dragging her feet getting ready this morning, and I was fussy with her several times. During my ride on the Red Line, I was getting very impatient with fellow commuters. Some folks stood right in front of train doors and made it difficult to enter and exit, among other things. When I got to my desk this morning, I sent off an email to a retailer complaining about the shipping time on a package I am expecting. Overall, I had very little patience, and I tend to be like that more days than not.

How’s my kindness level today? And how about my jealousy level? Paul’s description of love in this passage goes on, and right now, my love offerings aren’t quite up to par.

God’s love is patient, kind, and open to us all, even when we are not showing love to others as we should. As we continue through this day and beyond, what are ways that we can demonstrate the love of which Paul speaks?

Loving God, as I encounter people on this day, help me to love them even when it is challenging for me to do so. Make my actions show others that your love is available to each and every one of us at anytime and anyplace. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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