by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NRSV)
Today is the 20th anniversary of my marriage to Tiffany! We were reflecting the other day about those 20 years and how far we’ve come since that warm evening in May. I think it’s safe to say life is a lot different from what we would have predicted as those wide-eyed newlyweds, but neither of us would trade it for anything.
Today’s Bible passage comes from the famous chapter on love in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. Like many weddings I’ve attended and officiated, we had this passage read in our ceremony. On that evening, I think I probably focused primarily on what love is. Looking back with some miles between us today and that special evening 20 years ago, I have a whole lot better feel for what love is not.
I wish I could say that I never embodied the things that love is not, or does not do, but I wince at the times I did. What I’ve learned more, though, is the power of maturing love, nurtured in grace and mercy through forgiveness. Of all the times Tiffany and/or I embodied what love is not, or does not do, we grew and learned how to love more like God by working on our mishaps and committing to being better. We are by no means perfect in our love for each other, but thanks to God’s love woven tightly into our marriage, we strive for it. Daily.
And such is the essence of love. We grow by celebrating our victories and learning from our defeats. With an unwavering commitment to being better each and every day, it helps to cover up for those days we don’t quite make it. There have been some of those days, but thankfully, many more of the others. And for that, with God’s supernatural help, I am thankful.
With that, I wish my Tiffany the happiest of anniversaries, and bid you all adieu for a few days as we take some time off to celebrate and plan for another 20 and beyond! Thank you all for the ongoing love, support, and patience…I will be back the first of June; until then, I assure you are in good hands serving up our daily water.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you dearly for all of the examples of what love is, as well as what it is not. Help me to know that you are love embodied, and I long to be molded into the image of Jesus through that love. I pray this in His holy, healing, and helping name. Amen.