Back to the “love chapter”! I am going to chop off just three words from the next section, even though they are integral to it. The next Sanitizer will reunite the thought there. But these three words can stand on their own and indeed are memorable and indeed are crucial to our faith.
Love never ends.
I have always loved canoeing. Most of my white-water experience is on the Delaware River whose rapids I canoed every chance I got. One time, years ago, I got out of the canoe at the end of a nice long day of running rapids and disembarking realize that somewhere over those twenty-five or so miles, my wallet had fallen out of my pocket. There was not a chance that it floated all those miles again I would find it. Did you ever lose your wallet? Everything in there has to be replaced. Anything that someone could use has to be cancelled. It is no fun. Trust me that never again would I put my wallet in a place where it could fall into the river to be lost.
One of the ways to translate love never ends is that it loses nothing. It can also be love never fails. It can also be that love never falls down. It can also be that it never perishes.
Love is simply better than anything else. Love is more secure than anything else in the world.
At this point we need a reminder of the Greek word here for love. It is agape. Agape is the word for God’s unique love. There are other words for love in Greek. Eros is love between humans (think erotic love). Philia is love for humankind (think philanthropy). Greek uses the word storge, which is love in the family.
Agape is the supreme love. The others loves must be founded upon and reflect agape love or they are far, far less.
One love alone is eternal - God’s love. God’s love loses nothing. God’s love sheds nothing. God’s love is eternal and totally reliable.
Whoops…. I am going to have to stop early today.
Numerous interruptions have kept me from finishing. But I wanted to get this out.
To be continued!
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.