Paul said it best when he wrote to correct the behavior of the “followers of the way” in the city of Corinth. Now, 1st Corinthians is used in more weddings than anything else in the Western world, as a testament to love. However, I think this collections of verses should be the most used, even though they are not.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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 have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
Yet the most common verses used in wedding ceremonies follow right behind this passage…
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Powerful, so powerful. But lets look back at the first three verses. Basically Paul is saying that he doesn’t really care about any great action; no great work for God, or for man will have any lasting value, if you do not have love. I think this is critically important to understand. He is saying that without love, there is no redeeming factor of your actions. Nothing will matter without love first being over all of it… love being deeply rooted into your being.
Paraphrase of the real point of the Ten Commandments
I. Love God (first three)
II. Love One Another (focus of most of them)
See that??? Love Him, Love others. Simple. (even though the commandments are really all but simple when you dig in and decipher. But here, in this simplistic view, it is simple. Love God and Love others.
You see, since God first began to connect with us, He was telling us to show love to one another. And then God became a man, who then became a child, and then in an instant brought a new level of love into the world. For those who don’t believe in the deity of Christ, you would have to believe from historical texts, that Christ was an absolutely amazing man at the very least. A man who walked the Middle East sharing a message of love that had not been known before his time.
And so now, 2,000 years later, we continue to celebrate what this one person has done for us. So now, here on this day, I find myself in this broken place, yet so full of love. I would implore you to come get an adjustment this week, and be loved. Pass that love on, and tell the world the story of love… God became a man, loved you, truly loved you, and then died as his commitment to that love. I love Christmas because it is all about the birth of love.
Thanks for being part of it too… :)
Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E