Author: John Bisceglia
“The greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.”
In our Bible study a few weeks ago, there was a passage about doing the will of God. What is that for us? We often think that it means some great calling to a worthy cause. Or we think it is when a person like Linda Kowatch shared on October 17th about her calling to ministry. Over the years, I have often thought about what my great purpose is and how I can fulfill it. Should I become an environmental activist, a me-too protester, an LGBTQ+ radical, a marcher for “Black Lives Matter”? The list goes on and on. All those and many more are worthy, and I think within God’s will, but what can I do at all times?
The answer is so simple yet very hard, LOVE. In this one concept and word we incapsulate so much. Yes, love is a feeling at times but so much more it is a way of living. In I Corinthians 13, a passage we read at weddings, Paul gives a description of love that has little feeling and a lot of action. If we were to try to fulfill just a portion of these actions in everyday interactions, think of how the world would be better. If God is love as the Bible tells us, then how can God’s will be anything other than love?
Jesus tells us that “as you sow so shall you reap,” so sowing love has to have a harvest. I have found that the more I practice love the more it comes back to me. I have also found that love cannot be a solitary function, so even though I can feel isolated and alone that loving intention can move me greatly. I know God “who I cannot see” loves me; therefore, I can love without seeing.
“Love’s in need of love today. Don’t delay, send yours in right away.” Stevie Wonder puts it so well, please send yours in!
I Corinthians 13
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 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.
Photo: God Is Love parament hand-tooled in leather by John Bisceglia for his and Keith Lance’s wedding in July 2014.