Today’s author is Prince of Peace member, Suzan Hurlbut.

Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash

1 Corinthians 13:1-7
“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing; Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on it’s own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”                   

The reading from Sunday is one of the most well-read chapters in the Bible.  In a way, it’s God’s word in a nutshell.  But how do we live it?  How do we let it sink in?

I listened to a sermon by Franciscan Priest Richard Rohr.  He states that neuroscience reminds us that the kind of love in Corinthians, unfortunately is like Teflon.  It slides away from us in about 3 seconds.  Positive thoughts, patience, kindness, hope that bears all things, puts other’s first doesn’t last long! But, negative thoughts are like Velcro!  Fear, hate, anger, anxiety, those are what stick!  

Politicians know this. When they talk about fear, anger, what we deserve, who is doing us wrong, they get votes.  Politicians who talk about love can be seen as naive, a little suspect, not to be trusted. Father Rohr says that neuroscience goes on to say that in order to plug into those positive loving thoughts we need to focus on them for at least 15 seconds or they don’t sink in.

How do we keep our heart space open?  It is work.  By our daily discipline of taking in this love is how it can happen.  Because God is love.  God is the infinite Source.  There is enough love to go around, thank God.  

But we have been sucked into an unloving, fearful world.  Here in America overall we have more than the rest of the world but we complain and focus on what we don’t have.  This also hits me because I grew up in a family of worriers.  There were many hard, real things that caused the worries but worrying became a habit for me.  Sometimes it seems easier to worry and protect my heart so when the next bad things happen I won’t be caught off guard.  It seems uncomfortable to not worry!  But choosing to keep my heart open is scary at times.  Trusting that God’s love for me and you really believes all things, hopes all things, is kind, merciful, not judging is a stretch but a little at a time.  

Thanks be to God

Prayer: Loving Father/Mother God.  Help us to keep our hearts open to your love even though we live in a crazy unloving fearful world.  Help us to keep reaching out to you so we can feel and know your love.  Amen