Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany - C3

Years C
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

As a paean to love, this is hard to beat. As a poetic definition of love, we find much to be admired here. And yet there is a distancing that sets up love standards without helping anyone approach them. With this distance all manner of ill has been done in the name of love. High among the painful interpretations are justifications of patience requiring an abused person to express their love by returning for another beating.

There is another hymn out of the United Methodist tradition that is not sung very much, much less in its entirety. It is Wrestling Jacob (often referred to as "Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown".

The mystery here is found between stanzas 8 and 9 where the question hangs in the air,
"Speak, or Thou never hence shalt move,
And tell me if Thy Name is Love."
Pause (or not)
"'Tis love! 'tis love!"

We are better served not to posit definitions, but to wrestle with ourselves and creation regarding the bedrock relationships that continue in halcyon days and brokenness.

This leads us to love being qualitatively set apart from faith and hope which both can find themselves so distanced when things fall apart.

Question: given G*D's failure of faith, e.g. flood; and G*D's failure of hope, e.g. Babel; where would you find G*D expressing a failure of love?

= = = = = = =

we find our power
exemplified in
charisma tongued persuasion
sheer torturous techniques
self-fulfilling prophecies
bait-and-switch slights of hand
enough knowledge to be dangerous
delusions of grandeur
log cabin-birthed humility

so we hide behind
explanations and shoulds
to appear what we are not
we claim our present is
superior to our past
as will be
our future to our present

in every day, in every way
we are more loving
dare you question that?
if so you are not very loving

let us forgive such love
and reclaim a wrestling love

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