Thank you for being flexible this past week. The Y is working diligently to get the heater fixed in the gym. Sunday’s intimate setting for worship in The Hut provided for a beautiful worship service and a wonderful time together. Thank you again for being such a great Family. I’m excited for everything 2018 has in store for us as we grow as a community. We are part of a Family where we both receive from one another as well as give. No one is above receiving and no one is below giving. All of us have gifts worth giving as we strengthen the body of Christ. We focused this last week on Romans 12 and I want to come back to “Love in Action” (12:9-21) this coming Sunday.
Paul uses the same imagery in 1 Corinthians 12-13 as well. What does it mean to love in a community like the church? How does love shape who we are? How does our measurement of love differ from the rest of the world?
Take time to read Romans 12:9-21 again and we’re going to reflect on 1 Cor. 13. Paul begins with, “And yet I will show you the most excellent way” and then goes into his discourse on love. Think about what you’ve done today. What is something that you did that wasn’t in love? There are a lot of things that I do that I don’t think about whether or not it was measured in love or not. How do you allow love to guide your decisions each day?
13:1-3 holds a person’s gifts against the measure of love. When have you had someone do something nice or good but love was lacking? Have you ever received a simple gift from someone but knew the gift was filled with love? How was that gift different than something of higher monetary value? How can you give your gifts in the church that are filled with love?
13:4-8a is often read at weddings to focus the love of a bride and groom. While that is a beautiful notion and a great guide for marital life, Paul has placed this at the climax of his discourse of what it means to be a church Family. How are you doing with this list? Where are some areas where love needs to reign in your life in the Church? When we come around the Table together for the Lord’s Supper, how could this list refocus your life on what Jesus did on the cross and how you are to live in community with others? Love never fails.
13:8-13 – All of our gifts are given for a short while to build up the community. There will come a time when those gifts will no longer be needed because all will be redeemed and made new. What will be left? Love. If love is what will be left in the end, why do we struggle to find love for others now? Where are areas in your life where love isn’t your guide? Pray for transformation. Right now we do not see the redemption of Christ fully. We only know it in part but we will know if fully, when we are fully known. The church is a microcosm of what God will bring in redemption. The love you give and experience in this life is only a glimpse of the love that defines God. The way we love one another is a signpost pointing to the love of God. How will you point people to God today?