July 21, 2020
Love Abides

by Lynn Reiman
"And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is so often used in weddings, that it’s easy to forget that Paul was writing to the people and church of Corinth about their failure to love one another. This was not about romantic love but love and forgiveness for your neighbor. The Corinthians were boasting, fighting, and bickering with each other out of jealousy and envy. The young church was floundering so Paul, much like a father, scolds them and reminds them of what is most important. Wouldn’t Paul be chiding us today? 

Paul tells us that even profound faith without love is meaningless as our call is to share our faith with others. How can we do that without love or open arms of welcome? Hope alone is not enough, for hope without love is empty. Love is the greatest of the three because it was out of love that God sent His only Son and through love that Jesus died to save us all. It is with love that we abide in Him because we are most like Jesus when we love unconditionally. The love Paul describes is the love Jesus has for us. The love we aspire to have for all. 

In times of strife, pain, joy, and thanksgiving; hymns speak to me. The pandemic, racial injustice, social inequities, all make my heart cry out. In the past few weeks, I have often found myself humming, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” (2 of 4 verses below). 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love;
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard human dignity and save human pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love;
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

Unity. Dignity. Equality.  

Yes, faith, hope and love will abide; but it is with the greatest of these, LOVE, that we will endure and cure. It is with love that we will work side by side to build a better tomorrow where we are truly one.  
Dear Jesus, our Lord and Savior, may we continue to abide in You and learn to share Your love with a world so in need of healing. In Your name we humbly pray, Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com