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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Advent: Love as Verb

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of 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 its 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.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. ~ I Corinthians 13 Do not waste time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did. ~ CS Lewis Love and say it with your life. ~ St. Augustine of Hippo

What happens when we change love from a noun into a verb? To DO love rather than just FEEL love? I admit that most of the time I think of love as a noun. I think of how it makes me feel. Even when we say that we love someone, oftentimes it is coming from a feeling of love that is in our heart. So how do we actually act when we love? How do we show our love for our neighbor rather than just saying we love them? What does our life look like when it is made up of a stream of acts of love? St. Paul gives some good advice on it. When we love, we show patience when our spouse is taking perhaps too long to let us know if we are able attend the Christmas party we've been invited to. When we love, we don't envy the lawn our neighbor has or boast to them about the new car we got. When we love, we don't insist on our way at a board meeting without listening to others. When we love, we don't resent it or hold against him when our son doesn't call us as often as we wish. When we love, we don't laugh at the neighbor with the overabundance of Christmas lights when he gets in trouble with the Homeowners Association. When we love, we are bearing the light to a darkened world. We are lifting up the truth of that love so that others may feel its freedom as well. Lord of Love, show me the way to light the world with that love in bold and generous ways! Amen.

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