Tag Archives: Paul

Paul the Romantic?


1 Corinthians 13:1-13
as told by Casey FitzGerald

Here is a copy of the text: 1 Corinthians 13 1to13

the BACKstory

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.


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.

Paul the Humorist?


Before watching the video below, read Paul’s words to the church in Corinth (from 1 Corinthians 1:10-17).

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.
For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 

What I mean is that each of you says,
“I belong to Paul,”
or “I belong to Apollos,”
or “I belong to Cephas,”
or “I belong to Christ.”

Has Christ been divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 

I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name.
(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas;
beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel,
and not with eloquent wisdom,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.


1 Corinthians 1:10-17
as told by Ron Coughlin at the Festival Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers ’13

But that’s not a STORY!!!

Any scripture can be told “by heart”–even Paul’s letters. In fact, most of the people to whom Paul wrote could not read–they relied on someone reading the letter aloud. Think about the difference in the experience of reading the letter to yourself and then hearing Ron tell it by heart.


For all ages:

The Corinthian church was filled with people who were very different–and had different thoughts about how to be the church. Paul wanted them to be UNITED in their faith. In order to get a sense of how Paul felt, tell a story about a time you tried to help people get along. (My mother used to request only one thing for Christmas every year–peace in the family. Perhaps I should call her and get her to tell me a story!)

For the older set:

From Ron’s telling, what can you surmise about the Corinthian church?

What are the ways in which today’s church experiences such divisions? Tell a story about church/faith division…then begin to tell this section of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.