Love can be cold.

[From an outdoor Indiana wedding, 48 and windy. But it didn’t rain.]

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

It’s cold. I’ll be brief.

And maybe I’ll send you an email with my full text, because, after all, on this day, in front of these witnesses, you aren’t here to listen to me.

You are here to get married.

To say, “Those words about love that Paul wrote? I want that to be true about us.”

I want our love to be patient. Especially her love.

I want our love to be kind. Especially his love.


And everyone else is saying, “This is lovely. But I haven’t eaten. And the hors d’oeuvres.”


Which is Paul’s point. We are human.

These delightful and inspiring words about love never failing weren’t written to be inspiring for a wedding. They were written to a group of church people in Corinth. People who were cranky. People who were jealous. People from all parts of society. People who couldn’t say a kind word about others. People who took advantage of each other.

You know how we sometimes say that churches are full of hypocrites? This church in the very beginning of churches, is the perfect model of that.

So Paul wasn’t describing how they were, he was giving them a picture of a better way.

And that’s our encouragement.

That even when we can’t control the weather, and we can’t control the choices of other people, and we can’t figure out ourselves, love never fails. God’s love never fails.

Because that’s who Paul is describing here.

God’s love is patient. God’s love is kind. God’s love is constantly drawing us toward himself and toward each other with honesty and simplicity. Patience with pettiness in the short-term because of deep confidence in what we will be in the long-term.

Paul’s words aren’t for us to throw at each other. “But Jon said you aren’t supposed to keep account.” Instead, they remind us that we get to be in love, surrounded by God’s love, as we work out our new life together.

May God give you a deep awareness of that love.

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