Thank you for listening to this week's teaching session through 1 Corinthians. Today we're looking at chapter 13 and especially the first three verses.
**Just to clarify about the point concerning Bar Mitzvah and chapter 13 having 13 verses: obviously these are man-made constructions (the original manuscripts didn’t have chapter or verse divisions) but in Paul’s forensically ordered and inspired thinking it seems significant that this issue of love and ‘coming of age’ is saved for this exact point in his letter.**
In chapter 14, Paul directly commends the distinctive role of individual instruments being played in isolation, for a special visit and for battle; in chapter 12 today, Paul indirectly commends the harmony of an ensemble of instruments being played together, for every day community life.
What would it mean for us to be harmonious and indistinct at the time of war? What would it mean for us to be shrill and obsessed with solos as our main rhythm of community life?
All manner of possible hypothetical scenarios can be concocted, but Paul's principle is clear: the proof of our genuine "coming of age" into the kingdom of God is that we are continuing to ask the present continuous Holy Spirit to increasingly pour into our hearts His agape love.
Love is a noun: love is not love; God is love.
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Nick & Mairi xx