anchor prayer: love | 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 | MSG
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 | ESV
The final anchor prayer – and perhaps the most crucial of all.
Without love wisdom is made blind and courage is reduced to reckless, feckless folly. It’s been said that love is an emotion praised by the many and enjoyed by the few. It’s a rare commodity. Most of what is labeled “love” in this or any culture is a far cry from it. It is often observed that love is not a noun, but a verb – and if that is the case, then Paul gives a good start in coming to grips with what love really is with his classic list of “love verbs” in 1 Corinthians 13. Not a bad passage to read aloud each day this week as we contemplate love and pray our anchor prayer.
Once again we have four stories to reflect on this week as we set before us the “anchor prayer” of love. We could pile up scriptures describing love, praying for love, exhorting us to love. But it is in the concreteness of story that we can best apprehend love.
The ultimate story through which we learn love is, of course, His story of love. “By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us.” It is the Gospel’s contention that that one selfless act of love is in fact the core reality at the center of all existence. And so every story that rings true to our ears bears the marks of that Story. So it is with each of the four “anchoring” stories of love that we ponder this week.
Look for it in each, even as you look for it in your own story.
Again we depart from the usual flow. You will be given a passage to reflect upon and then challenged to listen and write your own musing, observations, and thoughts. It’s the discipline of journaling. Perhaps by now you’ve learned to tolerate it – if not to perhaps like it. Regardless, try it. Again.
Let your thoughts tumble onto page through pen or pencil. Don’t self-edit. Don’t try to be profound or polished or right. Simply listen, and allow thoughts, whether many or few, to tumble out onto the page.
Or even Draw, Paint.
And if you are engaging in this study with a small group, be bold and share something that you saw through the point of that pen, pencil, or brush…
What is love? How would you describe love? How would your version of 1 Corinthians 13 read?
Living God, I invite you to take hold of my life today for your purposes.
Please fill me with the Living Water of your Holy Spirit that as you pour me out:
my motives may be rooted in your Love,
my decisions may be rooted in your Wisdom,
and my actions may be rooted in your Courage.