13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a 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.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor. 13:1-13
Today is Valentine’s Day – a day that is dedicated to love and so I chose one of the most well known love passages in the bible.
But we need to really look hard at this passage to understand it. Paul is not talking about the Disney Princess Lovey Dovey stuff, rather he is talking about servant love. The Greek language gives us many different words for love, indicating different meanings. We have Philos, referring to friendship (Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love), Eros, the love between partners (yes, we get the word erotic from this) and Agape, meaning servant love. This is the love Paul speaks of, and this is the love Jesus often speaks of – the love of a servant. It is the love that guides us to do wonderful things for others. It is the love that took our sin on the cross.
Today, celebrate all the different loves in your life. Celebrate friends, partners, children, parents and everyone else. And consider this: How can you show servant love to someone else this week?