I remember my first love. Her name was Thelma. She was very beautiful and she loved me also. We were best friends and we were committed to one another, and our relationship lasted a long while; from kindergarten all the way through first grade. Perhaps that is not the sort of relationship folks have in mind when they think about their first love. It is more likely they are remembering their first serious love. Still, we must always remember the greatest love of all.
The text before us this morning is often called the “Love Chapter.” It is often read during weddings, engagement parties and anniversaries. But Paul is not speaking about the love we share with our sweetheart. Paul is writing to the Church, teaching us about God’s perfect and sacrificial love; the love our Father has shown through his Son Jesus Christ.
Without the love of Christ, we are nothing but miserable sinners in need of God’s mercy. Without the love of Christ, our worship is empty, deeds miss the mark, and our relationships are not centered upon the one who is the source of all love. God’s love is patient, kind, never arrogant or rude. God’s love hopes, believes and endures all things. God’s love never ends.
As we live within loving relationships, may we always keep Christ at the center, and feel the peace, hope and joy that comes through being a child of our loving heavenly Father.
Prayer: Father in heaven, we thank you for the gift of love shared among people, but especially for the gift of love you share with your people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.