As we begin 2016 we can share the story of Nehemiah teaching the scriptures to the people at the Water Gate of Jerusalem. When we celebrate the beginning of the Season of Epiphany, we start with Wise Men Worship Jesus, the story of the wise men from the east. Then the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated with the story of John the Baptist witnessing to Jesus as Messiah, in Soul-ed Out for Jesus. In the USA, we can commemorate the advancement of civil rights on the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Samaritan Neighbor. Continuing in Epiphany, we celebrate the first public miracle recorded that Jesus performed in turning water into wine with the Miracle in Cana. The next week is Transfiguration Sunday, with the story of Jesus transforming in the presence of three disciples with Power Ranger. Alternately, in the USA we can get an interesting twist on Super Bowl Sunday with The Super Bowl. As we enter the Season of Lent, the protection of God’s children is explained in Angels Watching Over Me. Then we learn of how God transformed Abram into Abraham, the father of multitudes, in Journey to Faith.
Text: 1 Corinthians 13
Prop: a Valentine’s Day card
Summary: Christians should show others a selfless, giving, unconditional love. Our efforts are meaningless if we do not have love for one another.
Do any of you give Valentine’s Day cards? [Show the card.) If you give or send a card, you show that person that you like them or love them. If you know about Valentine’s Day, you probably have seen your father bring your mother some flowers or candy. It is a day when those who love each other show their love by giving presents. Today I want to tell you about a love letter in the Bible.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Christians living in Corinth. They were not getting along together. Paul wanted them to live together in peace with one another. Some of them argued with each other. They were behaving badly. Some of them thought they were more important than others. Some of them envied what others had. That means they wanted things they did not have and they were mean to people. So Paul wrote in his letter about the kind of love God has for us. He gave them a beautiful description of what true love is.
(Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.)
Paul said all of our best efforts will mean nothing if we do not have love. Paul said love is patient and kind, does not envy, nor behave badly. True love thinks about the other person more than oneself. It gives rather than takes. True love does not say, “I will love you only if you love me.” True love is given without any conditions put on it. In other words, we should love one another the way God loves us.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, help me to love others the way you love me. Amen.
©2004 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.