Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3
Key verse: (31) Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
Reflection: Chapter 13 of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church has been referred to as the “Love Chapter.” Paul is urging the church to seek the greater gift of life which is love. You might ask, “I thought Paul said all gifts are important. And now he is saying to seek something that is even greater. Are there superior gifts?”
You would be correct in saying that we all have spiritual gifts, unique and important gifts. “The most excellent way” Paul is referring to is a different focus of the gifts – love. Speaking in tongues may be regarded by the Corinthian community as one of the superior gifts. But, as Paul continues to say, if there is no love, it is nothing. Likewise, if you have been given the gift of prophesy and understand all the mysteries of life, even possessing faith that can move mountains, but you do not have love, it is nothing. Paul is not saying forfeit those spiritual gifts that have been given to you by the Spirit. Paul is grounding the church, and each and every spiritual gift, in love. If there is not love in what we do, or what we say, or how we act, then there is nothing.
I wonder how you are pursuing love today. I wonder how our response to the times at hand can be grounded in love.
Prayer: You taught us what love means, O God. Help us to seek the greatest gift of life which is love, personified in Jesus Christ. For it is in his name that we pray. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].