Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 30th January 2022 the Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13. 4-7
Chapter 13 of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians is such a familiar passage to many people. It has been read at weddings and funerals for generations. It is romantic, poetic and full of hope. It contains so much wisdom that can help us make sense of the difficulties we experience in our journey through life. But it also paints a picture of love that we can never seem to live up to. No matter how much we try, there are always times when we say or do unkind things to those we love. Times when we lose patience or get irritable. Times when we stretch the truth thinking we are avoiding hurting the feelings of others.
The love that Paul writes about, however, is not our imperfect love but the perfect love that is God. The perfect love that makes the Trinity possible, holding the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into one complete personification of love. The perfect love that called the whole of creation into existence. The perfect love contained in Jesus, the Word Incarnate, who lay down his life so that the gates of eternal life will be opened to all those he loves. The perfect love that walks besides us through the ups and downs of our own lives of love. Encouraging us, holding us, guiding us and absorbing our pain as we turn to Jesus for help through our prayers and our worship.
The perfect love of Christ is the greatest gift that we have been given. It is through recognising that love that we come to faith. It is because of that love that we have hope and it is by accepting that love that we will ultimately be filled with peace. The only request that such perfect love makes on us is to share that love with others, those we know well and already love, as well as those whom we struggle to love but are loved equally by our Lord.
With all my love and prayers