What is love? Do you know for certain? There is a popular song that asks “What is love?” and then responds with “Baby, don’t hurt me.” Though we don’t think of love as painful, another popular song echoes what many people have found to be true: “Love hurts.” You might have experienced that in your own life. It leaves many people wondering what love is all about and why our culture is so focused on love. It leaves many people wondering if they will ever find love. Maybe love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you read on, you’ll see that people all over the world are searching for love. In fact they are searching for answers in the Bible. Can the Bible possibly have an answer to a question of such magnitude? That’s what we are going to try to find out on Sunday, and a special Sunday it is!
I’m super excited for this coming Sunday because it is Worship in the Park and our annual church Picnic! Join us at East Lampeter Community Park on Hobson Road at 10am on Sunday August 24th. When you arrive just follow the music to find us, as we’ll be in the middle pavilion.
Tons of people from the church are working hard behind the scenes to pull off the event, and I am so grateful for their work. Getting sound and music to the pavilion is a big deal. Our worship will finish with a special large-scale art project for all ages, and putting that together has required the people to help out. Then there is the coffee, snacks, and later the picnic which involved a whole additional group of people. Thank you all!
As you prepare for worship on Sunday, our theme is What is Love?
In preparation for Sunday, I came across this video. It is fascinating to see how many people all over the world are searching to find the meaning of love. In our ongoing study of 1st Corinthians we come to chapter 13, which as the video points out, is one of the most sought-after chapters in the Bible. In 2009 it was the most searched for chapter on Bible Gateway. In 2013 “love” was the most searched for topic. On just about any list of the most popular chapters of the Bible, people put 1st Corinthians 13 in their Top Ten. It is used prolifically at weddings. And for good reason! 1 Corinthians 13 is all about the meaning of true love.
Because it has become almost synonymous with weddings, many people don’t realize that it was not originally written for that purpose. Surely it applies to marriage, as we believe that love should be the foundation of a healthy marriage. But why did Paul include this chapter in his letter to the Corinthian Christians? If he wasn’t addressing love in marriage, what was he addressing? Is there some reason that he put this chapter on love in the particular placement that he did? At first glance it seems odd, random. A chapter about love right in the middle of a bunch of chapters about worship-related things like the role of women, spiritual gifts, and speaking in tongues. Why not talk about love in chapter 7 which was all about marriage?
Paul has a reason. Take a look for yourself and see if you can figure it out. Read 1 Corinthians 13 (and boost Bible Gateway’s stats a bit in the process!) and prepare to answer the question What is Love?