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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, June 3, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  1 Corinthians 13:11–13

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (NRSV)

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul makes the bold claim that while faith, hope, and love are all important, the greatest of these is love. Why?

Faith, hope, and love are often referred to as “theological virtues”; in other words, they’re what define our relationship with God. Without faith—belief without seeing—that God did indeed send his Son to die for our sins, there is no Christianity. Without hope—the confident expectation—that God is continuing to work in our world and in our lives to help us grow and develop into better versions of ourselves, without the confident expectation that we can and will be able to learn from our sins and make better choices in the future, what chance do we have to faithfully follow Christ and enter into his kingdom? There’s no denying those are indispensable aspects of what it means to be a Christian. So, what is it about love that elevates it above faith and hope?

Without love, there is nothing to have faith in and nothing to hope for. God’s love for us is what compelled him to send Jesus to us in the first place. Jesus’ love for us is what compelled him to follow through with the ultimate sacrifice to save us from ourselves and from the powers of sin and death. God is love, and it is love upon which our relationship with God is built and sustained.

Loving God, draw me ever closer to you and inspire in me the virtues of faith, hope, and love. By growing in the theological virtues, may I also grow to better know, love, and serve you. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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