Love the Lord, all you his saints.”  Psalm 31:23

“If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:2

Along with Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, is one of the more familiar chapters in the Bible.   I may even hear it read more often than the telling of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, which happen once each year, depending upon the number of weddings in any given year.  This chapter does include beautiful words to begin married life and practice throughout the years.  

Paul was not writing advice inside a “Congratulations!” card to two individuals.   He was writing to a congregation – a wide mix of people with varied behaviors and opinions.  They did not always get along with each other.  We can imagine the disagreements and bickering, even dislike, as happens so easily between human beings.  

It was this diverse group of people that Paul was reminding to love, to be patient and kind, not boastful, not insistent on having one’s own way.   It is a reminder of Jesus’ commandments for each of us in our daily lives:     

         Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.     

        Love your neighbor as yourself.  

In Paul’s letter, surrounding text describes the church being one body, made up of many parts with different functions, depending on and supporting each other, and thereby strengthening the whole body.  Care and respect for each other, is essential at all levels, across ages, and between differences, for unity and peace.

Paul’s words are beautiful words for weddings.  They are also good words for each of us as we begin each day anew.  

Loving God, teach us to love each other – everyone, as ourselves, as you commanded.  We ask the gifts of your Spirit today especially patience, kindness, and gentleness, toward each we meet today.  Amen  

Verla Olson