In my message to you last week, I promised to do my best to “know, love and serve you and God”. With that promise on my mind, I was struck by one of the passages in Sunday’s reading: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Cor 8:2). At the time, I wasn’t sure why these words caught my attention. But since then I have had time to ponder.
I think it has something to do with God reminding us, once again, that love is the most important virtue of all; that there is actually an hierarchy of virtues. And love is on the very top. Sunday’s passage reminded me of this by pointing out that love builds up while knowledge puffs up. Which reminds me of another favorite passage that goes something like, “Love conquers justice”. Once again love is the key.
Over and over and over again, our Christian faith teaches us that “love never fails” (1Cor. 13:7). It conquers justice. It is more enduring than knowledge. It even precedes faith and hope. This should be little wonder when we consider how Jesus answered the Pharisees telling them the two most important commandments are to love God first and our neighbors as ourselves. To quote Jesus: “Everything in the law and the prophets hangs on these two commandments” (Mt 22:40).
So, in retrospect, I would like to rephrase my promise to do my best to know, love, and serve you and God. I would like to submit that I will do my best to "love, know, and serve God and you". Through our prayer and the Holy Spirit, may we let love lead us as we deepen our knowledge and service to God and one another.
Grace and peace,