Practice Love

Submitted by Linn on Thu, 01/31/2019 - 15:39

Warm Greetings on a frigid day!

 

This week we encounter I Corinthians 13. It is difficult to separate Paul’s soaring words from the modern wedding ceremony that claims the chapter’s theme of love for a newly married couple. Yet Paul is writing a pastoral letter to a community in crisis. Paul challenges the Corinthians with a simple command: practice love. Paul’s guidance in this chapter speaks powerfully to many troubled situations we face, if we but follow his command.

 

Poet and artist Jan Richardson captures a sense of the grace that befalls us when we practice love.

 

Blessing that Opens Its Heart to You

 

You have seen

the impostors

trying to masquerade

as this blessing,

how they cloak themselves

with words

that look so much

like what you longed for

while beneath

they are hollow.

 

This blessing

has come to tell you

do not be discouraged

do not be dismayed

do not berate yourself

for where you have been

searching,

for the wisdom that comes

along what seems

a foolish road.

 

You will know this blessing

by how it opens its heart

to you.

You will know this blessing

by how it turns its face

toward you.

You will know this blessing

by how it approaches you

arm in arm with faith

and hope.

 

You will know this blessing

not by the ease it offers you

but by what it asks of you:

patience and kindness

forbearance and belief

hope and endurance

and more

 

not because this is what

you owe

but because this is what

this blessing stirs in you,

what it provides for you,

what it pours into your hands

that you suddenly

find open



like your heart

that unfolds itself

in welcome,

finally knowing

and fully known.

 

I look forward to seeing you Sunday.

 

Shalom,

Gordon