1 Corinthians 13
Love is patient; love is kind. And now faith, hope and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love.
In 2003, a holy man of God was called to be a bishop in my church, and because of who he loved, many people in my church were enraged. In fact, some were so angry that they left and started their own churches. In reality, many people had been angry before this happened, but this event ripped the bandaid off and the infection poured out of the wound.
Bill and Katherine and I were horrified by the anger and vitriol in our church, and so we decided to pray together on a regular basis away from the church, and we invited like minded people to join us. We called our little home church group First Corinthians 13. Our priest friend Tom joined us and offered to bring us communion when we met, acknowledging both the sacrament of Holy Eucharist (Greek word for thanksgiving) as well as the sacrament of peaceful loving friendship. But another priest at the church told Tom he was not allowed to bring us communion. This other priest had publicly declared his anger about the new bishop, so we knew he was not happy with our gathering. Even so, we continued to meet for almost a year to remind each other of the central message of the Gospel: Love is patient; love is kind. And now faith, hope and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love.
Whenever this passage comes up as it did today, I am reminded of that precious group of brothers and sisters in Christ who gathered to support each other and to remind each other that Love never fails. Katherine and Bill and Tom and others, I give thanks for you this day.