Use your ambition to try to get the greater gifts. And I’m going to show you an even better way. If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever. Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
- 1 Corinthians 12.31 – 13.8a (CEB)
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
- Micah 6.8
I hope you are aware that members of our faith community have been invited to submit beloved worship elements for use in our gatherings. This could be a song, a bible passage, an activity, etc. When you are in worship, just write your favorite things on the green attendance card, and drop it in the offering plate. Then we will work them into worship in the weeks ahead.
Planning worship around our favorite things you say… hum; is this healthy? Some would say no, it’s not healthy. They would point out that the church looks inward too much and too often, that we tend to do things the way we have always done them, with no consideration of what would be inviting and meaningful to new folks trying us on for size. It’s hard to dismiss this argument; it is done often in many churches; churches that are not guest friendly. So much for spreading good news.
In my estimation, however, ancient or modern is not the only option. The old and the new are not necessarily incompatible. As suggested in our worship heading, these memories from days gone by, warm emotions from childhood, dad’s favorite hymn (my dad’s favorite was In the Garden, hands down!), bible passages that influenced faith, and the like provide a light that can not only comfort us, but inspire us to a deeper faith. These voices from the past can encourage us to reach out to others, not in a defensive or challenging way, but rather in an inviting way.
When these favorite things from the past are used in the service of love, they can inspire us to pay forward the blessings we have received. They can inspire us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God; the things God desires from us, as Micah points out in Micah 6.8.
In preparation for Sunday morning, (we worship at 8:30 and 10:30), I invite and encourage you to think of your favorite things, and reflect on how they can motivate you to be a blessing to others; and discern ways they can inspire doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.
The old and the new, the ancient and the modern; these can be woven together in loving, meaningful ways. They can be used in such a way to both nourish and comfort us, and extend a loving invitation to others to experience the same blessings.