16-1-31 Love

Love is the answer. It is what the Apostle Paul promised at the end of 1. Cor. 12 (verse 31). So today’s reading is on Love.

Love_Heart

1. Cor. 12: 31 & chapter 13:

 [31] But covet (or desire earnestly) earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

[1] Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. [2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing. [3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing. [4] Love suffereth long, and is kind; Love envieth not; Love boasteth not itself, is not puffed up, [5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; [6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [8] Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. [11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. [12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [13] And now abideth faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.

A beautiful reading which speaks for itself! It is not competition, it is not ‘only the strongest shall survive’, it is just Love (agape), innocent Love, not calculating and without thought of oneself!

Can you imagine this state of innocence? How would you act towards others? Would you touch? Was this meant to be included?

Let me just finish with a quote from the Greek writer Plutarch who lived 46 to 120 AD. The following is the beginning of his Life of Pericles:

Plut. Per. 1: 1, ‘On seeing certain wealthy foreigners in Rome carrying puppies and young monkeys about in their bosoms and fondling (agapesein) them, Caesar asked, we are told, if the women in their country did not bear children, thus in right princely fashion rebuking those who squander on animals that proneness to love (philetikos for ‘proneness to love’) and loving affection (philostorgos for ‘loving affection’) which is ours by nature, and which is due only to our fellow-men.’

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Amen!