WATCH and WONDER
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
as told by Casey FitzGerald
Here is a copy of the text: 1 Corinthians 13 1to13
Though this passage is read at most weddings, it is not, in fact, specifically meant for romantic entanglements. Paul is speaking about the kind of love that is from GOD. (Of course, in marriages we are given a great opportunity to exercise such a love.*) Paul was writing to a church community facing many divisions. They were attempting to follow God and fight with each other at the same time. Many of them thought that if they separated they would be better off. Paul was trying to urge them to stay together–to explain to them that acting out of love was more important than any other issue they were facing.
The kind of love Paul refers to is not easy. It is not the kind of love one “falls” into–it is a love of choice and commitment. It is the deep and faithful love God has for us. It is the deep and faithful love we are called to have for one another.
WAYS to WONDER
When I tell this “by heart,” I choose to speak the words and intone their meaning as I do…in other words, when I say arrogant, I try to say it arrogantly. I often do this when storytelling, as it helps those who do not understand specific words to understand their meaning. Even if this is not the way YOU would choose to tell it, try the following exercise as you learn the passage:
Say these words/phrases aloud while trying to convey their meaning with your voice and body:
insist on its own way
bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things
For all ages: Tell a story about a time you knew you were loved. (What happened? How did you know? How did it make you feel? Did you act differently because of it?)
For the older set: Tell a story about a time you chose love over conflict.
*A word of caution: This text should not be used to encourage people to remain in abusive relationships. Remember: Paul highlighted what love does NOT look like. Love is not abusive. If you or someone you love is suffering abuse, please seek help.