When Brooke and I were talking with the friend who would be doing our wedding ceremony, we had one major request regarding Scripture he could use: no 1 Corinthians 13.
You know the one I'm talking about:
This Scripture is used time and time again in wedding ceremonies, Hallmark cards, and more. It's a staple of cheesy kitsch items worldwide. In fact, I distinctly remember the downstairs bathroom in my parents house growing up having pictures of angels with phrases from this passage on them.
But my friend Pedro pointed something out a few months ago, and its stuck with me:
Paul isn't describing romantic love at all.
Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, because he knows they're consumed with fighting and division. He's writing to describe community, not romance.
So today, maybe you're in pain.
Maybe you feel like you're missing love.
Maybe you're feeling alone.
Maybe you're reminded more of what you've lost than what you have.
And I want you to know that those are ok, that you're allowed to feel those feelings and not have to feel like you're somehow incorrect or wrong if you flinch every time you see red today. (tweet)
So often on Valentine's, it seems like there are only two options:
1. buy into the super-romance side of things
2. buy into the cynical backlash to the super-romance side of things
But I want to say this: maybe there's a third.
Maybe this Valentine's, when we speak of 'love', we can speak of Love. We can speak about community that is patient, community that is kind. We can speak of community that doesn't dishonor others, that isn't self-seeking, that keeps no record of wrongs. We can speak of community that never fails.
Not that the people within that community never fail, because we all know that people fail. But a community that collectively does not fail.
Let's push back at hyped up romance and push back at cynicism. (tweet) Let's celebrate community and people and vulnerability and honesty and every other manner of things that are true.
Let's celebrate Love that listens, that isn't afraid of dark places, that is willing to sit in the tension and the grey with us.
Let's reclaim Love.