I proclaimed Paul's wonderful words about love written to the church in Corinth and often used at Weddings, over a congregation at West Herts Crematorium.
I was struck again by these words:
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever - faith, hope and love - and the greatest of these is love."
As I think about the 21 year old full of excitement at planning a future with her finance, my 19 years of marriage and 60 years of companionship that ended with the death of a wife, Paul's words seem so relevant.
The "no" of our lives is partial and incomplete - often perplexing and puzzling.
But before, in the midst of, and beyond our now is one who knows us completely!
And Paul uses three amazing words to describe our present experience of the eternal God:
Faith - an attitude of trust in God exemplified by Christ (Phil. 2:5-11)
Hope - not wishful thinking, but concrete assurance - because of the resurrection of Christ (Col. 1:27)
Love - the action of Christ and of our lives - (Rom. 10:4; 13:10)
19 years ago I said "I do" - it's not something you say just once to make a marriage work! Through the ups and downs and twists and turns of those years I have had to say them repeatedly. Love is a choice, a decision, an act of the will - so much more than a transitory feeling - Love is a verb. The love of Christ compels us, Paul wrote, to live no longer for ourselves (2 Cor. 5:14)
So as we go about the now of our lives, seeking to transform communities with the Love of God, let us remember that it requires an attitude of trust, founded upon unshakeable assurance, that is expressed in action.
Senior Leadership Team