1 Corinthians 13:1-13
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

For the Feast

For the Feast

Love, sex. booze.
You are thinking–
HUH? In a sermon?
A man living with his father’s wife…
Conjugal rights,
rules about marriage…
Lawsuits and fraud among believers…
Starvation at the communion table…
Drunkenness during the Lord’s Supper…
And a long disquisition
concerning the nature of love…
WHEW, Paul, WOW!!!
Paul has moments of insight
and then it seems,
he sometimes goes off the rails.
Paul wants order in his churches.
He wants he considers to be
Christian behavior and decorum.
Paul wants a lot of things he is not getting.
It seems what Paul does a lot is
something we 21st Century-ers do often, ourselves—
confuse emotional comfort
and social mores with
the rules of Christianity
and what Jesus actually wants.
We’ll discover that a lot as we read Paul.
Paul seems to confuse
his way
with the
Way of Jesus.
And it is up to us
to sort out his rants
the discover what is
actually germane for our own time,
There are some things
in his rants
to which we need to pay attention.
For instance about the Rule of Love.
This is, for Paul,
the guideline,
the watermark,
for how we are to treat each other—
in and out of church.
Much of what he carries on
about make sense
after we understand
that the special kind of love
he presents IS the rule.
I should point out that
it is as dangerous
to try and force Paul
into our present ideologies
as it is to try and force
our ideologies into Paul’s
notions of correctitude.
This is why the Rule of Love
he presents is so important.
Not only because it is always
the time and place for the love
of which Paul writes,
and this love does indeed,
but the love he is describing
is actually a metaphor
for Jesus.
The one
to whom Paul had
dedicated the rest of his life.


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