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Called to Love

February 15, 2015

Antique Valentine Card (1860-1880), Photographed by rgEbfucR4wKBlg at Google Cultural Institute, Current Location Museum of London (Accession No. A28549/33) (PD – Copyright Expired, Author Anonymous)

The apostle Paul’s verses about love are a favorite at weddings:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor. 13: 1-2).

But these words were not penned as a sentimental reading for use at nuptials. They are the impassioned plea of a man who formerly prided himself on his status as a Pharisee, on his knowledge of and obedience to the law of God — a man whose entire worldview was irretrievably altered by Christ (Philippians 3: 4-6).

This line from Paul’s description of Christian love is usually omitted from the wedding ceremony. However, it illustrates his fervor:

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Cor. 13: 3).

As Christians, therefore, we are called to love and charity. Not the appearance of charity, the empty gesture, photographers at the ready. Not the tax deduction. And not the resigned donation, noblesse oblige, heavy sigh for effect.

Paul makes clear that charity, like beauty, must be more than skin deep with us. Christian charity is not some dry obligation, but our opportunity to share God’s blessings with those in need – our opportunity to reflect His love to others.

As such, it is a privilege for which we are the ones who should be grateful.


  1. Just excellent!

    • I consider that high praise, coming from such a talented writer. And I apologize for my delay in getting back to you. This aging computer of mine has been in the shop. If you ask me, it’s the technology that’s in charge! :0) Blessings, A.

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