Hi, I’m Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to nbsint.org.
What does the Bible say about love? Well, a lot of things. First of all, when the Bible speaks about love, it is usually in the form of a noun or a verb, and not so much as a feeling or an adjective as we think of it today. Love is something one does. It’s an action, one loves one’s neighbor, one loves one’s spouse, or your child, but it’s something that you do. Now, there are many famous passages of scripture and stories that involve love. There is the love that Jacob had for Rachel and other love stories. Then there’s the Song of Solomon, which is one large love song of a bride and a groom to each other. There’s a person there that says, “”Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm, because love is stronger than death.”” In the New Testament or Christian scriptures, Jesus is always preaching about love. He says the greatest commandment is “”Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”” Love is to be demonstrated in concrete ways, and not just talked about. One is to do it. Perhaps one of the most famous love passages in the New Testament is written by the apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, the 13th chapter. Paul begins by saying, “”If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, and have not love, I am nothing. If I understand all knowledge and have prophetic powers but I have not love, I gain nothing. If I give away all that I have, even my body, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind,”” and then he does something interesting. He begins to tell us, what love isn’t. “”Love isn’t arrogant, or boastful, or rude, or envious. Love does not insist on it’s own way. It doesn’t rejoice in the right.”” Then he comes to himself and says, “”Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”” Finally at that end of that passage Paul says, “”Now faith, hope and love, abide these three, but the greatest is love.”” The Bible is a story of love. God’s love for us and our response to that love, by loving God and loving each other. Love is a story of God.
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