3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (MSG)
If this is what love is and isn’t, we’ve got some work to do as a nation. I read this verse and think of the dubious claim that we are a Christian Nation. Are we? It says to let go of “me first” attitudes. All of a sudden “America First” is our motto. Love is caring about people more than ourselves. Yet, we’re willing to take away benefits to assist the poor and marginalized so that we can afford our weekly wasteful shopping sprees. Love doesn’t keep track of the sins of others. Yet, here we are. Calling an entire group of humans a sin and keeping them from the rights everyone else has. Love never looks back. Well then what the heck does “Make America Great Again” say about us? Love trusts God always. Then what’s up with all the military funding and guns in this country. Looks to me like we trust violence and war to protect us. Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Fake news, apparently. Love doesn’t revel as others grovel. I guess calling people hurt by this mess we’re in snowflakes is a term of endearment. Love doesn’t force itself on others. Well, someone might want to inform the Religious Liberty folks in D.C. about that. Love doesn’t have a swelled head. “America is the greatest country. If you don’t it, leave!”
I read this list and I couldn’t help but see the difference in love and America, in its current form. To say this is “One Nation Under God” right now seems dubious. But when I see the American people, everything changes. I see hope, light, and love. I see people standing for what’s right and marching to change what’s wrong. I see friends take donations down to the inner city homeless camps. I see women coming out to hold truth to power. I see people choosing to stay and bring light to all of us instead of moving away. I see great love all around. I trust that God is with us and is using the love of our citizens to bring light and hope to such a dark time in our nation. Change is coming because Love is happening. And just like the first description of Love says, “Love never gives up.”
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”