“What’s Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It?”
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
“What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
What’s love but a second hand emotion?
What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”
These are the words of for the chorus of Tina Turner’s hit song “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” from 1984. The song sings of a cautious woman entering into a relationship. Not sure how to react to this new love, as one who’s probably been hurt by love before.
In the song, she dismisses love. What good is love when it brings all this pain along with it? Is it really worth it? In the grand scheme of things, “What’s love got to do with it?”
Our reading from 1 Corinthians tells us what love’s got to do with it.
It’s the popular reading that you hear parts of at almost every wedding. The importance of love, a romantic notion that acts in certain ways. But remember what came right before this reading. What we’ve looked at the last two weeks.
So we’ve got these things from God which we are supposed to share with the world. Today we learn how we are to act when we share these great gifts.
We can do all we want, but we are to do it all with love.
I can come out and use all my spiritual gifts, but if I don’t show love then how am I helping spread the kingdom of God?
I could come out here each Sunday morning and preach hatred, creating divisions in the church, the body of Christ as we learned last week. I could preach that the our is the right church and all others are wrong. I could preach that we should ignore people in our society because they believe differently than we do.
There are preachers and churches out there that do just those things. Churches that preach hatred and exclusion because you don’t believe what they believe. They are the one’s you see on the news stirring up trouble in otherwise good neighbourhoods.
Where’s the love? When people see these so-called Christians in the news, how do you think they respond to them? Do people want to go and join with them? Of course not! People like this need to remember 1 Corinthians 13 where it says, “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
If we don’t have love, our words are just noise. When we speak of our faith and our beliefs they need to be grounded in love. God’s love.
Paul tells us that love needs to be the source of what we do. We don’t exclude people, that’s not love. We don’t seek our own fulfillment, that’s not love either.
Love is doing what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ would have us do and be.
I have to say, from what I’ve seen in my few months here, you do love each other. You have fun together, your respect and care for one another. This is probably the only church I’ve been part of where people get along so well. Sure you may love some people more than others, but you get along so well.
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not boastful or arrogant or rude.”
Of course it isn’t. Love is good. Love is treating one another as equal, each of us as children of God. Loved by God, and so worthy of our own love.
“It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.”
When love is a key component of the body of Christ, then it works together for the common good of God’s creation. It works together to discern God’s call to serve, it learns together, it grows in experience together. It doesn’t celebrate when someone fails, it works together to learn and grow and to rejoice in the truth of what we are bringing to the world in seeking God’s will.
“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Love surpasses all. Love is greater than all things, good or bad. An easy thing for us to handle? Of course not. Showing love at all times is, well, pretty much impossible. But it is something we can strive for.
Did Jesus show frustrations during his time on earth? He sure did. But, he always responded out of love. He spoke some strong words to those who challenged him, but it was out of love. Showing them the errors of their ways, and explaining to them how they should live according to God’s plan.
It seems that even Jesus himself could not reach all people. But, he still responded out of love for God’s people.
“Love never ends.”
Paul tells us that our gifts are limited, they will come to an end. But love, it never ends. We don’t fully understand the breadth of this love God has blessed us with, and as long as we walk this earth, we never will.
Someday though, this earthly walk will come to an end, and we will see God face-to-face. On that day we will see the whole truth. We will see the entirety of God’s love for the world.
But for now, we can just strive to do our best and live our lives guided by love, the love of God.
This is no small task, and it’s not just something that we can wake up in the morning and say, “I’m going to love today!”
To become the body of Christ, to live out our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ, using the spiritual gifts God has given us, and to live all this out in love takes more than just a thought. It takes more than just a New Year’s resolution.
Beginning to understand the love of God and how we can share it with the world is a life altering event. An event which begins with moving beyond just believing in God. It begins with accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and welcoming him into your heart.
Jesus Christ is the love of God that walked on this earth 2000 years ago so we can see God’s love in action. When we welcome this love into our hearts, we begin to be transformed into new versions of God’s love. Unique instances of God’s love, intertwined with our God given gifts, mixed in with our passion for helping and serving others, woven together with other parts of the glorious body of Jesus Christ.
When we let God’s love enter into our hearts, we cannot help but begin the amazing transformation into new beings. People who are reborn into God’s wonderful family of believers who serve with love.
Paul wrote these things to tell us we are all part of God’s plan. We are all part of God’s family, each with our own part to play.
Individually we are small, we can’t see the entire picture. We can’t understand how God has placed each and every one of us here as extensions of His love for the world.
Someday we will. But until then, Paul tells us, “…now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
So… what’s love got to do with it?