Saturday, May 16, 2015

The favor of love

“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 now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1, 13 (NRSV)

Love is a gift, and it is the greatest of all gifts. 1 Corinthians talks about several spiritual gifts that are bestowed upon some Christians,including the gifts of speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. However, the gift of love is the one spiritual gift that God bestows upon everyone.

If we went to a party where everyone was given a bag of nuts as a party favor, we would probably enjoy the gift, but we would not feel particularly special because everyone received the same gift. If we went to the party, and the host gave everyone a brand new car along with enough money for a lifetime supply of fuel, insurance premiums, and taxes, we would all feel very special, even though we all received the same favor.

The gift of healing, the gift of prophecy, or the gift of tongues are wonderful gifts from God, but the gift of love is the gift that cost God the most. God paid the price of love on the cross so everyone could have this gift. The analogy of the party favor is very appropriate because favor is exactly what grace means. We often treat the gift of love like a bag of nuts party favor when it is, in actuality, a priceless gift that makes everyone special.