January 29, 2016
There is a good amount of dust around here these days. In the busy activities of building walls in our unfinished spaces, we’re naturally tracking dust from one end of our facility to the other. But the messiness is a sure sign that we are moving forward. After a successful capital campaign, getting bids and signing contracts, we are well underway in the construction phase of our projects. How exciting! The tangible work stands as signs of generosity, vision and community.
So many gifts are coming together so our ministry has the space to grow. Making the connections between the projects and the gifts of faith, hope and love are important in renewing our witness. Otherwise our activities lose sight of the greater purpose and the good reasons. The readings for this weekend bring an important word into this season of projects.
The apostle Paul gave powerful and persuasive language to a love which continues to inform us. The unfolding, surprising and resilient love we know in Christ constantly shapes not only our closest relationships but our community of faith as well. When Paul addressed the congregation of Corinth he was keenly aware of matters of tensions and disagreement that grew from competition there – the kind that makes comparisons whenever people come together. So he took time to define a love that has the capacity to hold up under such things without causing division. This is a love that impacts us in most tangible and practical ways. Remarkable!
The familiar chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 speaks to a love that is necessary to make authentic community not only possible but vibrant and transformative. Even now as we hear these familiar words we feel the wonder of such a gift, ever present and ever at the center of lives setting us free from the many things that disperse our energies away from what is ultimately important.
As I walk through the dusty halls and take in all the progress – I think about the way love comes toward us always forming faith and shaping the very character of our identity as the church. I think of the many and varied activities and the work of the Spirit that somehow pulls it all together in marvelous ways for us to see!
(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7