God of our ancestors, please open our hearts and minds and that we may humbly submit ourselves to you and your guidance that we need in our everyday journey. Ase and Amen
This post is based on the following scripture
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 New International Version (NIV)
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. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Word of the Lord, Praise be to God. Now, in the passage, God describes what love ought to be and how it should act, but due to human error, it never works like that. Paul says in Corinthians “Love is patient, Love is Kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” , and I want to focus on that description of Love. How this emotion of Love is described with characteristics like kindness and having patience, and then it does not partake in awful things like boastfulness, jealousy, and pride. But I will argue that unknowing that we, as imperfect human beings, do not use Love in this way. But we commonly misinterpret it and misuse this Love
If you ever read anything from Plato or Socrates they talk about the forms, which are in essence virtues. The Forms are the purest essence of any emotion or ideal. Examples of The Forms would be; Justice, Kindness, and the most important of all Love. Socrates explains that we can only take a little corner piece of the forms, just a little slice of the pizza, that you cannot have the whole pizza. That would be impossible for any of us to use Love in its entire fullness. In other words, we cannot obtain that full form of Love. If we obtained the wholeness of Love, as Paul describes, we would never experience the emotions like envy, boastfulness, and other emotion that make us feel a dark hole in our hearts, where love should reside in its wholeness. But I’ll argue that we, as Christians, can experience that Love in its wholeness and that God shows us people like Jesus in our lives to show us that love. Jesus’s concept of love is more encompassing of human error than Plato’s definition of love as a virtue because we chase after that wholeness of love with Jesus’s grace.
A personal story of mine, an outpouring of true love inspired by God came to me from my Grandma. The Love that Paul described embodied by my Grandma Margaret, or Maget as we would call her because we couldn’t say Grandma or Grandmother as children. Let me describe her, she was the most determined, vibrant, and fierce woman I have ever known. She had hair whiter than a polar bear’s fur, and skin brown and smooth as the highest quality of chocolate in the world. When I was a kid, her appearance held me in awe, but the kind of love she showed her family was transformative.
This Love that she would show us, it can kick our butts and cuss us out, but my brother and I would know it came from a place that cared for us and showed us, pure Love. At the time, we misinterpret it as her being mean or cruel towards us, but looking back we were doing some dumb stuff. My Grandma was patient with us, and she was kind to us, but she didn’t take any mess from us. The love of my grandma was one that had higher hopes and expectations than we had of ourselves. It was a loving insistence that we become better. We all have someone like that in our lives also. He or she might not be related to us by blood, but by spirit instead.
In the text, it also describes the actions of Love, “it always protects, it always trusts, it always hopes, it always preserves,” and she was doing all of those things for us. People like her in our lives that show us that Love that we need, so we can make people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, First Lady Michelle Obama, and other men and women in the world. This love she demonstrated for us, helped us to become tolerant and kind people towards everyone. This is a Love that people miss out on, therefore; we misuse and misinterpret love.
For if everyone has experienced the same Love that my brother and I experience then there would be no war, no hatred, no discrimination, no greed, no separating little children from their parents at the border, no notation of white supremacy, and no Donald J Trump in the white house. Jesus said to his disciples “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself,” (Matthew 22:39). The Bible describes and prescribes Love so many times to us, but we have yet to use it in the right way. So before I conclude, I’ll you ask the question. Do you think you are using love in the right way?