It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Get over yourself and get over them, too, a Reflection on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

If we were compiling a manual on congregational development, We could file this passage under the heading Building & Maintenance. 

If your group wants to stay together and stay healthy while together, then some attributes are necessary. 

Love and tolerance.

Paul's description of love (notice we aren't talking about romantic feelings) includes patience and kindness. Moreover, it excludes envy and causes of envy like boasting, arrogance, and rudeness.

Implicit in this description is that the Corinthians were not all alike. Some had assets are qualities that the others lacked--otherwise, why would they have been envying or boasting?

A model congregation would include people with different talents (remember chapter 12) and different resources. But, differences can arouse ill feelings. Paul tells them that patient, kind love must be present for them to be an effective church.

And when those with whom we are associated fail to be patient and kind; when they continue to boast and be arrogant and rude, what are we supposed to do then?

Paul says love is the answer to this, too. Love means that we put up with their shortcomings, that we live as if we believe what Christ has told us, and that we look past what's happening right here right now to what is to happen.

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