"…Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." --1 Corinthians 13:13
Many of us are familiar with this passage. We often hear this reading at weddings. There is no doubt that it talks about love, but the passage does not refer to human love. Paul writes with great eloquence referencing spiritual gifts, the example of God’s perfect love, and the way that faith, hope, and love ground the community of faith. Paul was writing to a community that had problems with revenge or grudges against anothers. Paul alludes to theme that is woven throughout the Old and New Testament to “love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.” Love encompasses truth and deep care for others. We find challenges in respecting others, making room for deep relationships, and cherishing even the habits that drive us nuts. That’s why we need the example of God’s love to remind us how to interact.
I’m writing about this in the middle of the summer because it is possible that this is the season of love and not the one we observe in February. It certainly is a time when many are traveling to see family, blending family and friends together at the beach or in the mountains, or adventuring in groups. These days are holy ones in which the bonds of love are strengthened. It is a time in which we bond, find refreshment and re-creation during the sabbath days of vacation. Enjoy them, treasure the habits that challenge, and be grounded by God’s example.