1 Cor. 13:1-3
Resources, Commentaries and Prayers by Rev. Dr. Barbara Hedges-Goettl
Rewritten 1st Corinthians 13 in light of today & pandemic
If I speak with all of the authority & power in the world, but have not love,
My voice becomes blurred and untrustworthy.
If I can move mountains, changing laws, changing history, changing minds, and have not love–my work becomes meaningless
If I proclaim victory: that we are “great” the “best” the “most” and talk about all I have done for my family and my country, but have not love. I in actuality, have gained absolutely nothing.
Love: does it’s best to wait til after the danger of disease has passed to hug a loved one.
Love does not compare leaders, all of whom are doing the best they can to keep people safe.
It does not gut medicare and ignore the vulnerable and the elderly in the nursing homes as it boasts that it is doing everything possible to save lives
It is not racist or bigoted, It is not ignorant or panic-inducing.
Love is not irritable or resentful–it wears a mask out of love, and pays the essential workers more, and understands how reliant we are on one another for survival.
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, it does not ignore the racial discrepencies in illness, treatment or quarantine enforcement.
Love rejoices in the truth, even when it is hard.
For it is through love we bear all things even in sickness and death, it believes all things even in joblessness and loneliness, hopes all things: even as singing is silenced the hope for the opportunity to sing again persists.
Love can endure all things.
Even when we can’t believe it especially, when we can’t believe it.
Love endures all things
Love never ends: As for prophecies: promises of the future beauty & success: it comes to the end.
Tongues: chattering gossip and lies–they too will cease.
Even knowledge: will come to an end as humans are limited and to think we know more than a grain of how the world works is hubris.
For we only know bits: facts & science serve as only the beginning, and we can foresee some other bits: arts and gospel serve to extend our knowledge beyond our own sphere and experience.
But, when the complete comes, the partial will end. God will give all knowledge to everybody. And it is up to us if we experience that knowledge as judgement or grace.
For I am but a child of God, speaking and reasoning like a child: babbling the bits of love I understand to God and other humans.
When I fully mature: when I join God, I will put away childish ways: jealousies, regrets, conspiracies, imposter syndromes, competitions and internalized bigotries and self-hate will fade into the foolishness they are.
Now, I can barely glimpse God and love: sometimes I feel it when I briefly glimpse myself in the mirror and can actually affirm, for a moment, that I am God’s beloved.
Someday I will see love, God, each other: face to face.
Now I acknowledge that even in the best of time, I can only know things in part.
Someday I will know fully, just as I am already full known by God.
Someday I will fully know myself, and I will be fully known by others, and acknowledged as belonging–not a piece or part of me, but all of me, as a created beloved piece of God’s love.
And as Faith, Hope and Love abide today.
Someday there will be no need for faith and hope.
So fully will we be bathed and punctuated by Love.
Feel free to use for sermon/worship/prayer with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
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