1 Corinthians 13
13 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. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Today is Valentine’s Day, and it is not just a day to sell cards and flowers, but to show others how much we love them…and as The Beatles said: Love is all you need!
Well…it may not really be ALL we need, but it is important, and it does motivate us to do some extraordinary things with our lives…like becoming single parents! Of course I say this as if I assume we all had a choice in the matter, but I know that not all of us did have a choice. Speaking for myself, I could have chosen to walk away and let me daughter be raised by her mother, but this was not a good choice for anyone: my daughter, her mother or me, so I knew from the time that I decided that the marriage was over that my daughter would be with me.
I made that choice not only out of a sense of responsibility and not wanting anyone to be harmed, but also out of the great love I felt (and still feel) for my child. While raising her as a single father has had its tough moments, it has been a good choice that I would make again.
As today’s Epistle tells us: love is not only selfless and kind, but also mature…calling us to live up to our responsibilities, even when that means not taking the easier softer way, another lesson we have learned from following Christ. Jesus never took the easy way out, and not because he had to, but because he was the embodiment of God’s great love for us!
There are all kinds of love, such as the ‘puppy-love’ that can strike us down when we are young, and then there are the more mature romantic relationships that we develop as we grow older, some leading to long-term commitments like marriage. There is also the love we can have for each other, termed as ‘Agape’, the sharing of faith and affection and ideas that is not romantic, but can still form a deep bond between people. There is a general love for humanity that shows in our compassion for those in need, and our willingness to reach out to help other…as we follow the call of Christ to love one another. We also have love for our families, our own parents, our siblings, and of course for our children!
All of these types of love can be celebrated today, from giving a card or a gift to a significant other, to helping feed the poor, or simply sharing a moment of prayer or support with a friend, sharing a good time with our kids, or by reconnecting with God’s love through practicing our faith. We can celebrate our love for our children by giving them support and concern as they meet their own challenges in life, by offering them forgiveness and advice when necessary, and by always reminding them that they are loved…without condition, just as we are loved by our perfect parent: God!
With God, every day is like Valentine’s Day, as every day God showers us with love and grace; and in response all we are called to do is share this love with others.
Christ is like God’s Valentine to us, and he is the gift that keeps on giving, meaning that even those who are separated from their loved ones, or do not have a significant other in their lives at the moment, can still know the joy of Valentine’s Day, the joy of a love shared with others, the joy of knowing that we are surrounded by the light of God’s great love for us!
There are many different kinds of love to celebrate today…and much to be grateful for; while it may not be entirely true that ALL we need is love, we could not survive in this world without it! Love, in whatever forms it takes: romantic, Agape, humanitarian, love for family and children, and the love of God, it gives us the strength to face the dark places of our lives, as love can fill our souls with light and hope!
Living in the light of God’s love, can help us to share this love with our children and to meet the challenges we face as single parents, reminding us that we may be single, but are never alone…as we have the support of others and the presence of God in our lives always!
Let us Pray:
We love you God! Thank you for loving us without condition, just as we are…and for forgiving us when we have fallen short of your glory. Thank you for supporting us in our role as single parent, and for the love you have shared with us and with our children. Help us to share this love with each other, especially with our children, and not to fall into the despair of loneliness. Please let us remember that we are never alone, but always living in your love, and that in this love there is hope, and a reason for joy.