I’ve been reading a book during Advent called Love Came Down At Christmas by Sinclair B. Ferguson which looks at one of the most famous writings on love in the Bible; 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-13.
As we go into Christmas thinking about love let’s look at this passage together using the method that Ferguson suggests.
‘…take a few moments to read [the] passage, preferably out loud (‘it was originally written to be read that way). When you come to the second paragraph, wherever you see the word “love” or “it”, substitute your own name. See how far you get!
Then, read the chapter again. But this time, in the second paragraph, when you see “love” or “‘it” substitute the name “Jesus” – and read to the end.
These two ways of reading the passage go together. The first tells us what we are called to be as Christians – and exposes how far short we have fallen. The second tells us what Jesus is like.’
As you read the passage below think about the aspects of love you are gifted in? Are there any areas you need to grow in?
‘If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.’
(1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NLT)