As I was speaking about the different parts of the body of Christ last month, something struck me. It's nothing huge. It's probably struck me before, and probably struck you long ago. But I felt it worth mentioning.
In 1 Corinthians 13, there are a whole lot of words discussing the concept of Love. It makes sense. Love is found throughout the Word of God, because of the simple fact that we believe God "is" Love (1 John 4:7-8). For these reasons, and more, you often hear 1 Corinthians called "the love chapter". It's used at weddings. It's used by Christian guys to impress/woo Christian girls worldwide. It's used by youth pastors to teach his students the kind of Love to look for (and be) in a dating relationship. It's used by Pastors to talk about how God's love is for us, etc.
But in reading 1 Corinthians chapter 12 (the chapter just before it, for the numerically challenged), we find a discussion of the parts of the Body of believers. Some had begun to envy "more important parts", or even compete for various parts of the Church. Paul instructs them this is not right theology, pointing out that every part of the body is just as important, and yet not solely important.
He then says, "I will show you a still more excellent way." Then goes into the "love chapter".
So all of these words about love, are to reveal to the people of God, how to exist as a healthy body. It's not about growth systems. Not about purpose statements. Not about saving as many lost souls as possible. Not about how many people attend your Sunday School class or various services. Not about a seamless worship service, or fluent Biblical teaching. Not about my likes or dislikes, and social preferences.
It's about Love. About responding/living from love to each other in the body. About 'doing things' in the body when we do them, with Love. It's about standing as the Body in a world that has lost sense of True Love, and proclaiming it - even at the point of great sacrifice. But not to make a point or statement...and not to simply change laws/challenge systems. But to proclaim Love, and a Kingdom built on it.
This is the Love Christ shows for all creation in His life/death/resurrection...
And all other loves we have are given to be reflections/illustrations of that Love.
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