Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The necessity of love

A reflection on 1 Corinthians 13.1-3
You might have the impressive verbal gifts that the Christians in ancient Corinth loved: you might be eloquent and persuasive, funny and entertaining; you might speak English at home, Italian in the marketplace, Lithuanian on the dance-floor and Mandarin at press conferences; you might even speak as the angels do - but without love, you’re a dog barking at 3 am, a stereo turned up to eleven while waiting at the lights. Without love, you’re just a noise filling the airwaves.

You might have the gifts of knowledge and communication that the apostle Paul seemed to love: you might write the book that answers all our questions about God; you might get invited to speak at conferences in front of hundreds; your blog might be read by thousands from around the world and get links from Faith and Theology - but without love, you’re a zero.

Or you might have the gifts that Jesus seems to have particularly loved: you might have so much faith that you can be a landscape developer all by yourself; you might give more money to poor than the tax office knows you have; you might sponsor a whole village full of starving children; you might risk your reputation or even your life for honouring Jesus - but without love, it’s all a waste of time.

Love is necessary. Cut love out of Christianity and we may as well pack up shop tomorrow. Without love, we’re just another peddler of dodgy goods in the spiritual marketplace. If we don’t or won’t love one another, then let’s sleep in on Sunday mornings, or take the kids to sport, or go to that family event. If God doesn’t actually love us, if we don’t really care about the person next to us, our gatherings, our prayers, our songs, our reading, our silence, our proclamation, our lives and deaths are pointless.

Love is crucial.
Twelve points for linking to the post with a picture of the outside of this building.

22 comments:

andrewE said...

Amen! Nicely put Byron. I especially liked the reference to blogging.

JoBloggs said...

Ah yes, a good and (in my case) timely reminder of what matters!

Rachel said...

was just looking for a search button on your blog to see if you've ever commented on Mars Hill/ Rob bell etc.

I'm just looking at some of thier stuff for work.

but I can't seem to find a search button...

ps great love sermon!

byron smith said...

Rachel - there's a built-in search field with Blogger at the very top left of every blog.

To save you the trouble, I have not ever commented on Mars Hill or Rob Bell, because I have had very little to do with them and so have nothing to say. :-)

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Thanks Byron.

Jo N Jules said...

This is really insightful and thoughtful. It is easy to see how we express our faith without love.
Cheers

Steve said...

Can I quote you in a sermon? This is good stuff

byron smith said...

Sure.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

A field?

byron smith said...

I am not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean "Would a picture of a field qualify as it is outside this building?" If so, then no, I am looking for a picture that depicts this building from the outside.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

This? (longshot)

byron smith said...

Well done for bravery. It was indeed a longshot, but at least you got the right planet. Hint: the photo here is of a circular tower. ;-)

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Thanks Byron. It was a toss up between Earth and Venus.

byron smith said...

Yes, though I guess the relative scarcity of cloud cover gave it away.

byron smith said...

Once you've passed 500 points, I think a little ribbing when you get one wrong is justified. ;-)

Anthony Douglas said...

I'll have a guess.

byron smith said...

Nice try, but no.

Anthony Douglas said...

I doubt this is it, but it's tough finding towers amongst your collection. If only I knew where you'd been on December 20, 2005!

byron smith said...

If only you did. Not there.

Matthew Moffitt said...

Hi Byron, assuming the points competition is still live, I'll claim ten please.

byron smith said...

It's been roughly six years since I last awarded any points! I'm not sure I can remember all the steps I needed to take every time someone made a correct guess (which was a large part of why I stopped offering more).

But you are indeed correct. I'll give you twelve, since that seems to be how many I originally offered. Unfortunately, I'm not going to update the leader board any further, so perhaps you'll have to keep track on your own...

Matthew Moffitt said...

That's fine. The tower has been on my mind for several years, so it was nice to be able to lay the mystery to rest.