“Faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”                     I Corinthians 13:13

         I woke up today in need of a spiritual makeover. The morning news, post primary elections, splattered the usual vitriol across my living room. It was depressing. I would have grounded my children if they spoke to someone like that. My mother would have made me apologize to my brother. She did in fact, when I made the mistake of calling him “stupid” in the third grade.

         We read I Corinthians 13 at weddings, as if only the young and passionate have the capacity for love, and then only until the honeymoon is over. But that’s not what the love chapter is really about. Come Sunday we’ll explore this further in worship, but just for today, consider what choices God set before you to be more truly loving.

         This is hard. The word for love in a number of versions of the Bible is charity, agape, the kind of love that considers other before self. It is rooted and grounded in the impossible fact that there is a God who loved us unconditionally into being, accompanies us cherished through every waking day of life, and welcomes us wide eyed and astonished into glory.

         I don’t want to be that person who says something behind somebody’s back that I wouldn’t say to their face. I don’t want to be that person who has grown so cynical, so calloused, that I actually say something uncharitable directly TO someone’s face, as if words don’t hurt. I don’t want to be that person who snaps at my family members just because I’m having a bad day, as if they are somehow responsible for my happiness.

         The truth is, most of us can’t pull this off by ourselves. We’re just not that nice. We tend to insist on our way. The culture around us supports anonymous attacks on others, whether what we say is true or not. The rising tide of selfies and snap-chat on social media communicate that the world is all about me. Except that as Christians, is just isn’t.

I don’t know where I’m headed with all this. But fortunately, God does. And just for today, that knowing brings me incredible hope. When we lean into the cross if just for today, we can do what God sets before us with great love. In this world where there is so much we simply cannot control, that will be sufficient.

Prayer: O God, grant me an undivided heart to love and serve you today with all my heart, mind, strength and soul. Open my eyes to see you and serve you in the ordinary events of this day. May Love radiate through me. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Verlee