"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not LOVE, I gain nothing.
LOVE is patient and kind; LOVE does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE never ends."
(1 Corinthians 13:1-8a)
(1 Corinthians 13:1-8a)
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We get the glimpses of the heaven on earth. We see a little bit of heaven in the birth of our children or when we hold our grandchildren. A little heaven is with us in the love of our husbands and wives, and moms and dads. A tiny bit of heaven is in the hug of a friend, a kind word from a stranger, a breath of fresh air, and the few minutes your back doesn't ache.
But these moments are fleeting and unpredictable at best: passing instances of happiness and hope that are all eventually overwhelmed by the gloom of the glimpses of hell we also get: death, divorce, violence, loneliness, illness, injury...
Thank God that neither heaven nor love are all happy feelings and unbending optimism. Heaven is above all things being in the presence of God. Participation in Holy Communion, hearing the gospel in your church, receiving a benediction from your pastor, receiving absolution for your sins, singing hymns praising God and His glory, reading and listening to Scripture, remembering your baptism into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: all of these things are ever-present glimpses of heaven on earth: immutable and accessible. And all of these treasures are waiting for us each and every day regardless of how happy and heavenly we're feeling.
Jesus is, above all things, love. Patient, kind, humble, giving, rejoicing, truthful and never-ending. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things because that's what the love of Christ has already done unto death. His is the love that makes all power, knowledge, and faith possible. Without His love, we are nothing, yes it’s true, but never forget that with His love, we are everything.
If the glimpses of hell are getting you down, you know where to go for a real glimpse of heaven on earth. Click here to find a church near you.
Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is from 1 Corinthians 13:4a
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"Love is patient. -------> 5 count inhale
Love is kind." -------> 5 count exhale