After a deep and passionate opening it spells out some of the things which real love is, and isn’t:
‘Love is patient, love is kind… It is not rude, it is not self-seeking etc.’
I once heard a good sermon on the end of this chapter, which reads, ‘Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’ (v 13)
The speaker began by asking why is love the greatest? After we offered several suggestions he explained his question.
When Christ returns and all His people are raised to enjoy eternal perfection, faith and hope will be obsolete. We’ll no longer have to trust for what we don’t yet see. We will be enjoying that for which we have hoped and yearned. Faith and hope will no longer be needed!
But love? Love is eternal, to be practised and savoured forever!
For now we just get little snatches. Its beauty may be caught in an affectionate caress, a simple, maybe regular kindness, the forgiving loyalty we depend on over years, the tenderness shown in times of weakness and vulnerability. Too often the picture gets clouded by our human selfishness or insecurity.
The Apostle writes, ‘Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror: then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’
Thank God for the ‘glimpses’ that keep us trusting and living in anticipation.
Those things, small but beautiful, that keep us believing in the ultimate, redemptive triumph of the greatest thing – love!
Thank Heaven for peripheral vision,
The ability to see those things out at the edges,
Things almost obscured by the daily glare of all that’s paraded before us.
The corner of the eye is a special place from which to notice things:
A child splashing in a puddle, a tiny flower grown wild,
Or that angel standing, quietly watchful by that pillar in the dome.
I’m distracted, and a little afraid, but I am no longer alone.