My dear fellow saints,
The Apostle Paul continues in today’s Epistle to counsel a Christian community, which was finding the diversity in the community to be not only beneficial, but also quite challenging. He provides information of what is needed to successfully face differences and difficulties.
His famous analogy of the body with its many gifts and functions was introduced in 1 Corinthians 12. The salient themes are the importance of each member, the expectation that each will contribute for the effective functioning of the unit and the necessity of mutual care. The chapter concludes with the distinct understanding that the Christian community is not sustained simply because it comprises many members who are endowed with gifts and perform various functions. There is an all important ingredient without which things will not be well in the church.
This is what the Apostle fleshes out in 1 Corinthians 13. He emphasizes that love is the greatest power in the Christian community. This superior gift was lacking in the Christian community. He gives edification that, without love, there will
not be harmonious relationships and all ministries will be devoid of effectiveness. So, what is the action plan for the community’s survival and concord? There is to be an avoidance of selfish behaviour; so all the fighting for positions and honour should be discontinued. There should also be every effort to be patient, tolerant, kind and considerate in dealing with others. We are to desire good for others and do our best to avoid hurting others.
When there is love among us, it would have such a beautiful impact on our social interactions that we would exclaim, “There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place.” We would be kept united and enabled to work in harmony for the building up of the church. Let there be love among us!
The Very Rev. Ernest Flemming