Welcome to our BONUS POST-EASTER WEEK of Daily Devotions!
Our last devotion for this year will be this coming Saturday.
I Corinthians 13:1-13 (RSV)
f I speak in the tongues of men and angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or clanging cymbal……so faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love…
I have worked with and or run organizations, large and small, for my entire career. I have seen agencies succeed and agencies derail.
Paul, God’s top consultant, was dispatched to the program (church) in Corinth, which by all accounts, was a mess, an enterprise riven by jealously, conceit, and competing institutional practices from prophecy to speaking in tongues along with loss of mission. The Corinthians had hitched their theological wagon to ephemeral stars: As for prophecy, it will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease, as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Institutional pride snatched them from their center, away from that which animated the entire Corinthian enterprise: Love, which Paul reminds them is patient…not jealous or boastful…not arrogant or rude…or resentful…not rejoicing at wrong…Love embodied by Christ.
I have seen secular institutions whither, usually because of devotion to the institution itself instead of to the mission, their core reason for being. What holds the Christian Community together is Christ crucified, Christ taking a petty sorry lot, strengthening them beyond measure, commissioning them beyond borders, sustaining them through a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Lord let me remember that your church is a way station, a strengthening station, a place where love is abundant, the message joyously proclaimed, where your beloved community sustains and the message of your son heard, a clear message that dispatches, saying, “I am with you. I will not leave you. Go out and do likewise: love and strengthen others.”