An excerpt from my sermon, a reading of 1 Corinthians 13 in the life of the modern church:
If I decorate the gym, serve snacks, or lead small children around, but do so without love, I am really nothing more than garbage heap, something of little worth.
If I sing songs and dance ecstatically, but do so without love, I am nothing but nails on a chalkboard.
If I cook food, serve others, or share a meal with someone, but do so with an unloving Spirit, I am nothing but rotten spiritual food.
If I attend ministry events faithfully, but do so more to be seen than to love, I am nothing more than old gym clothes stinking up the beautiful aroma of Christ.
For us, Love isn’t proud, boastful, arrogant, or self-centered. It is emptying and sacrificial. Love, true love compels me to do more than to just show up, but to serve. Because of love, I consider others better than myself. Love is joyous and exuberant delight in the presence of others. Love sees the best in people and wishes them wholeness in Christ. Love is kind, compassionate care for those around me. And I will commit to remember this week that without love, I am nothing more than garbage, nails on a chalkboard, rotten food, or dirty gym clothes; and by the grace of God I refuse to be any of those things because I choose love. I choose to live in and demonstrate the same sort of love to others that Christ has first given to and shown to me. I will not be arrogant or conceited, Pharisaical or hypocritical, judgmental or stubborn; no instead I will love extravagantly and exuberantly, joyously and happily, serving others with compassion and tenderness with the name of Jesus.