Today’s readings… Leviticus 8, Psalm 107, ! Corinthians 16 

   Today we completed reading 1st Corinthians.  Two verses about love caught our eye in this final chapter.   Verse 14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love” – but v. 22 we read, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.  Our Lord, come!”  How do we show our love for the Lord?  Well, we cannot show love for someone we do not know!

    We need to have a relationship with someone if we are to love them in a personal sense – love is the cement that binds a relationship together.  This verse is a challenge!  It indicates there is no middle position- we either love or we do not.

    Immediately before Paul had written, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” [v.13]  The only statement there that is not fully clear is the first. “Be watchful” – what are we to be watchful for?  When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane he chided Peter saying, “could you not watch with me one hour” [Matt. 26 v.40]  Watch for what? Peter had no idea that they were coming to arrest Jesus!  But Jesus said, “Watch with me”, Jesus in the agony of knowing what was about to happen in obeying his Father’s will, would be strengthened, at least in some measure, by their nearness and support.  He was still a normal human being at that stage, “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” [Heb. 4 v.15]

   So Paul meant that the Corinthians should “watch” in support of one another, even more so when situations became difficult – surely a message for us!. 

    Finally we should note that, after writing, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed” he immediately wrote, “O Lord come!”  This takes us back to the words of Jesus about conditions in the final days; he told his disciples, “Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” [Matt. 24 v.12,13]  

    Let us all endure and say to each other the words Paul used to end this Epistle, 

    “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus, Amen.”