1 Corinthians 13:1-7

The words of this familiar passage take me in surprising directions.

Sometimes I think hypocrites are those without love, or religious leaders caught in scandals, or the arrogant, or those who aren’t as easy to get along with as they think they are. 

During weddings, these verses lead me to reflect on times when my own expressions of love are selfish, rude, and irritable, when my patience was missing and my words lacked kindness.

Our church’s deacons committed ourselves to staying in touch with our congregation during the pandemic as a way of listening and being aware of needs. Each of us had a list of members to contact and the freedom to call, text, or send notes as often as we’d like while praying for them. 

The results were less than perfect. It took valuable time to create the name lists and more time to contact each person. Some dove into the task and contacted their assigned members regularly. Others had trouble getting started. I fell somewhere in between. People were thankful for the contact, and we discovered needs we reported back to the rest of the deacons for prayer and other help. Yet I felt guilty when I did not follow through for those who may have needed to share or just engage in conversation.

My difficulty in this situation makes me wonder if Paul considered including a third option in these verses. Not a lofty expression of love, and not the noisy gong either. Instead, the silence of apathy or distraction, the quiet that surrounds words of affirmation left unsaid, the silence of unfulfilled intentions.

As Jesus teaches us this week, the source of our love for God and others is our continuing experience of God’s love for us. 


Where are you sharing love? Where are your efforts only producing noise? And are there places where your love is only silent?


Lord, help my love for others come from the love I know through you. Amen.

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