Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rethinking the Love Chapter

Paul's classic love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 provides needed definition and substance to the idea of love. What is easy to forget is where 1 Cor 13 is located. It's after chapter 12 and before 14. (I know, brilliance). This chapter was not written to give ministers something to read at weddings, though it's certainly not a bad choice. Chapter 12 gives instruction about the body of Christ, the church. Each member is different but significant. One member cannot be more highly esteemed based on function. All parts are important. You realize the importance of your toe when you stub it on the coffee table. Chapter 14 centers on guidelines for the corporate gathering. The meeting should be done with respect for one another for the purpose of building up one another. Sandwiched between these chapters is chapter 13. What keeps the body members from waring? What keeps the corporate gathering from self-centered chaos? Love. Genuine love for God and others.

Here are the descriptors of love in verses 4-7 with a contextual reminder.

Love is patient and kind in the church
love does not envy or boast in the church
it his not arrogant or rude in the church 
It does not insist on its own way in the church
it is not irritable or resentful in the church
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing in the church
but rejoices with the truth in the church 
Love bears all things         in the church
believes all things in the church
hopes all things            in the church 

endures all things in the church

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