As we are heading into this season of love, growth, and rebirth, and as stores are filling with the commercialized good of this season, I have begun to ponder of the verses of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:

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.

But in thinking about this verse, I have thought about what it is that these words look like in our culture today.

In our world patience has in some way become a thing of the past, yet it is the first word used in order to describe what love is. So, what does patience look like today? Well it looks like someone who is willing to take the time to be with you. They don’t rush the moment, but rather sit in the moment with you, whether the moment is one of joy or one of sorrow, one of anger or one of rest. They are simply willing to be in that moment with you, helping you or guiding you through it. In this way love also protects and always hopes.

While being in the moment with us that love will help to protect us from what it is that may be causing us harm. Whether this is ourselves, or something or someone else in this world. In a way, love bleeds when we bleed. It knows when we have been harmed, because it also has been harmed, making it so that love wants to make sure no harm ever comes to us again. In this way, love also hopes. It longs for a better future with us. It longs for a world in which there is no harm, yet also seeks for a relating in which there is also joy. In a way love has a hope that surpass the current reality in order to bring about a new one in which the best of the loved one in seen and experience.

Yet this reality can only come to pass if love also does no harm. In this way love has to be the image of what it looks like to cause no harm. It is in this way that love does not envy, boast, it is not proud, nor does it dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, or easily angered, or keep records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rather rejoices in truth. This is because, to do any of these things would result in harm to the loved one. In this way love means to give up ones self in order to protect and live for another. It means living as the other does, so that to cause harm to the other, one really causes harm to oneself. Yet love does not just do this to the one that they are in love with, but rather to all individuals, because love is to strong to be reserved for just one, it must be shared to all.

So love is not just something one sees at home, but rather it is something that should be seen in all walks of life with the individual, making it so that in order for someone to be acting in a loving way just at home, but acts in a harmful way when they are away, are they truly love? Love is seen in every voice, action and movement of a individual, making it so that when one is acting in a way that cause harm to any individual they are causing harm to love. This makes sense when we look at the world today. Our understanding of love as become so twisted, because love has caused harm. We have walked in the world, saying we are love, when in fact we have caused harm. This has happened so much that the world today has no true understanding of the word love. Love today has no action, no thought, no understanding. Love is not seen in 1 Corinthians 13 anymore, rather it comes with uncertainty. The world is waiting for the pen to drop on love, because love in the past has cause so much harm, that love is perceived as dangerous, when love is truly meant to persevere, protect, be trustful and trusting, and most importantly kind.

So as we go through this season of love, regrowth, and rebirth, let us really look at how it is that we love today. Are we living in the full understanding of love as it is expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, or are we giving into the understanding of love as that which the world has come to know it? A love that come with uncertainty, waiting for the moment in which love may cause harm.

~ Pastor Jillian