Loving One Another

Posted on July 25, 2012

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8(a); NIV

God’s loves us like this. If you replaced the word love with the word Jesus you get a great picture of His heart. It is how He loves us. This forgiving, forbearing, generous, practical, kind, considerate and strong love is the stitching which binds us together and binds up our wounds. William Barclay said, “Our theological views may differ; our views on methods may differ; but across the differences there should come the constant memory that we love Christ and therefore we love each other. The great task of any church is not primarily to perfect its buildings or its programs. Its great task is to perfect its love.”

Barclay is absolutely right.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(a) the Apostle Paul is describing a compassionate, serving, spirit which seeks another’s good even at sacrifice to itself. A story I told during a sermon last November sums up, for me, what this passage of scripture is getting at. I first heard it from Dr. David Augsburger; it is also found in Scott Peck’s book: The Road Less Traveled.

The rabbis have puzzled for centuries over how it is that Mount Moriah is the spot where God wanted His temple to be built. Here is the story they told. Mount Moriah wasn’t just the spot where Abraham offered his son, Isaac, till the angel intervened (See Genesis 22). Long before that, they said, a threshing floor was cleared there by two brothers and they began to thrash the wheat of the whole neighborhood. These two brothers would share their earnings from the thrashing with each other 50/50. One brother would take his sack of wheat (his earnings from that day) home and pour it into his granary and go to the house and eat dinner with his wife and 12 children. The other would go into his house and eat supper alone for he had no wife or children. This brother couldn’t sleep well at night – he would lie awake and think, “I have one mouth to feed and my brother has 14 and he insists I take half the grain – that’s not right! There’s no justice in that.” And before he could sleep he would climb out of bed every night and go and scoop out a great part of his grain, carry it across the thrashing floor and quietly pour it into his brother’s granary and then go back and sleep soundly. He slept soundly through the sound of something else that took place. His brother would awake early in the morning and say to himself, “It’s not fair! When I grow old I will have 12 children to care of my wife and I and my brother have no one. He has to lay up for the future! I take half the grain – how dare I do that!” And so he would get up and scoop out a great part of his grain and carry it across the thrashing floor and in the early morning pour it into his brother’s granary and then go home for breakfast.

One night, said the rabbis, there must have been an eclipse – the brothers’ timing was off and they met in the darkness with their bags of wheat over their shoulders. They recognized each other’s voices and what each other was up to. They dropped their bags to the ground and fell into each others’ arms and God said, “That’s where my temple will stand – where people care for each other’s needs as they do their own.”

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – Jesus (John 13:34, NIV,)

-Pastor Rick Mailloux

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