The Greatest of These is Love

This week’s reflection on a favorite Bible verse is by Vestry member Dr. Leah Cunningham.

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

To start, this Bible verse represents something complete in itself and unadulterated . The three tenets of faith, hope, and love are pure. They come from the heart, soul, and mind of a person. 

Faith by definition is belief in something, hope is trust, and love is a strong affection or deep feeling. As Christians, part of our relationship with God is determined by these attributes. It’s like a symbolic “trust fall.” In our every day lives, our trust circle with people we interact with on some sort of regular basis is most likely limited. All the more amazing that we have tremendous hope and faith in, and love for God – a supernatural being we can’t touch, feel, or see. 

Problems arise when a person is swayed by others and so they no longer believe in any or all of these qualities. Or if they do, they are diminished or negatively influenced. The loss of faith, hope, but especially love can lead to bitterness. This again reflects love’s importance. 

What is it about love that is significant? The verse states that it is the greatest of the three. A person can have faith and hope without anyone’s support. But love requires us to project our feelings on to someone else. So in essence, we can’t do it alone. 

I think this is so relevant in present day. I am reminded of the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love.” While many song titles sound like cliches, this song title rings true. When many different people can come together and agree on faith and hope in whatever, the love is what truly binds all of us. 

With everything going on in the world right now, It is refreshing to see love in the midst of so much chaos. There are definitely pockets of strife and hatred. But interspersed through are areas of love. When we build on the love that we can have for our fellow man, that gives us the foundation on which we can have hope and faith for better days. 

Image from Yvonne Lucia

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