Love as Kindness
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. ~ I Corinthians 13:4-7
Likely you've heard this reading from Paul to the Corinthians at more than one wedding. But Paul wasn't writing to brides and grooms. He was writing to a community of believers.
On my way home from church for the past couple of weeks, I've seen signs much like these. The first time I saw them, I smiled. What a great sentiment!
The second time I saw them, I was having a not-so-great day. I needed them.
The third time I saw them, I had to remind myself: my life is meant to show what these signs say to others, and quite honestly, I don't always succeed.
The kindness of whoever put these signs up was apparent. And in this kindness, a kind of community develops between those for whom kindness is needed, and those who want to share that kindness.
That's the kind of community Paul was calling his fellow believers to. That's the kind of congregation we are called to be.
Those are the kind of people we are called to be.
Love is hard. And we don't always live up to Paul's description of it. But start with kindness, and you are off to a good start.
Holy God, move me toward justice, mercy, and humility in all my dealings with your people. Amen