Some of the most beautiful words ever written about love were authored two thousand years ago by the apostle Paul. The words appear in the Bible’s New Testament. If you have attended a wedding this summer, you may have even heard his words read at the ceremony. No matter how many times any of us have heard or read these words, they are always a good reminder how we are to live in relationship to others and I, for one, am always moved by them. Here are Paul’s words from his letter to the Corinthians. 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 wrong doing, but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
And now faith, hope, and love abide,
these three; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
Sometimes we are better able to understand something when we also reflect on its opposite. And so when I read the words below this week about hate, I found that they made me appreciate even more the power of Paul’s words. These words are intended to help us deepen our understanding and commitment to living out the words from 1 Corinthians 13 by looking at its opposite.
Hate is impatient, hate is cruel.
Hate is jealous, it puts on airs.
It is snobbish, it is always rude.
It is self-seeking, it is prone to anger.
Hate rejoices with what is wrong, but does not rejoice with the truth.
There is no limit to hate's malevolence, to its untrustworthiness, its despair, its weakness to sustain.
Hate never wins.
There are in the end three things that fail:
Deceit, despair, and hate.
And the weakest of these is hate.
Rob MacSwain, shared with permission
Hatred has been in the news these days and it so it is important to remember that we all need to do our part to insure that, “Hate never wins” and that, “Love never ends.”
In closing, I’d like to suggest that while we are each experiencing the solar eclipse this coming week, we think of it as a metaphor. Hate has the ability to cast a shadow, one that temporarily eclipses the power and light of love. And while the solar darkness of a solar eclipse goes away without any need for effort on our part, hatred will only go away when we name it, when ever and where ever we see it, and then do all in our power to remove its shadow. While it is true that it is love that endures, we must all do our part to rid the world of the ugly shadow of hatred.