We read in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”
In the context of what Paul was saying in the previous chapter, we know that he was trying to teach the followers of Jesus in Corinth how to be a community shaped by the Love of Jesus. It’s not about attaining specific gifts, roles in the church, or individual status. It’s about being one body, and that body of believers shaped by the kind of Love described above.
It’s a long list, and some of it seems pretty challenging at times. But one of the most important things on the list is so small that we might accidentally miss it. “Love is...” (I realize it doesn’t work in the Greek, lol.) Love exists tangibly, not just as an empty verbal token or worse – a nonverbal mutual understanding. When and where love occurs/exists, it happens noticeably.
It’s one of the many reasons our church in Gyor is currently collecting supplies to create “Welcome Bags” (Szeretetcsomag or “love packages”) for kids who enter the government home. Many of them arrive from a stormy season of home life, where they either didn’t have time to collect what was needed – or didn’t have it to begin with. For them to receive a bag of tangible blessing that our volunteers can later explain was an expression of the welcoming Love of God – we pray for all the ways it might be used.
For many of us, it is a reminder of God’s call through Paul, to be a community where we’re shaped by this kind of Love. Not just as an assumed concept in the background of all we do – but breaking through into our every day in tangible and transformational ways. How might God use you this week to reveal or speak patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness, trust, hope, perseverance, or some other aspect of His Love in a tangible way?
Watch for those opportunities…and you’ll definitely discover one (or many)…