Pastor at First Lutheran Church
The season of “love” is upon us again. The Valentine cards fill the racks and candy hits the market big time.
I always wonder as this time comes around if we really understand LOVE. It isn’t lust. It isn’t the passion of a season and then moving on.
Many pastors (probably all) have had couples choose 1 Corinthians 13 as a part of wedding ceremonies. But it is more than about marriage. Sure, it is a great message to define the hard work of love in our marriages. But the words are written as a lesson to community.
Here’s your Valentine from God’s word:
“Love is patient; and that is not easy!
“Love is kind and gentle; there is no excuse for abuse verbally or physically.
“Love isn’t jealous or envious of others; it keeps its eyes on the prize it has.
“Love doesn’t boast and is not proud; it doesn’t need everyone’s affirmation. It is what it is, and when love is lived out, there is fulfillment.
“Never would love dishonor another person to bring glory or recognition to self.
“Love doesn’t blow up in anger or keep others walking on eggs waiting for an explosion.
“Love doesn’t count the wrongs or keep a ledger of things suffered.
“Love doesn’t laugh at the evil being acted out, but rejoices with truth.
“Love protects, trust, hopes and perseveres; love will not walk out on another in self-righteousness.”
This is good material for marriage, but it is just as necessary with family members, friends, fellow Christians and co-workers. In a recent devotional by David Wilkerson we are reminded of Rev. 2:5. In Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” these verses say;
“You walked away from your first love-why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? Turn back! Recover your dear early love.”
That first dear love is Jesus. Our Lord is the only one that can send that love Valentine and live up to it completely. If you have walked away, turn back.
Remember the love of a Savior. Not only will He behave in love toward you as 1 Corinthians tells, but He loves you enough to die for you.
The Lenten season is the living out of that sacrificial love — 40 days of reflecting and action by God. Be present to receive it!