by Casey Wait Fitzgerald
God of Love,
open our hearts and minds
as we consider the words
of the apostle Paul.
Help us to remember
God’s incredible love for us,
and may we give that love
to each other.
The apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the church in Corinth, hoping to encourage them to follow Jesus Christ and to care for one another. Some say they were not doing a very good job. In this part of the letter, Paul reminds them about God’s love.
1. Read aloud: Have someone in your family read the entire passage from 1 Corinthians 13 –
Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
(Common English Bible)
2. Bonus Challenge Reading! Read the passage one at a time, each person taking a small piece. When you read, try to read as if you are demonstrating what is being said. For example, when reading, “love is patient,” try reading it patiently! This exercise can get tricky. For non-readers, try repeating the passage, bit by bit.
3. Story Sharing: Take turns telling stories of times you saw someone exhibit love like God’s. You can either pick from the scripture passage, or to make it more challenging, use the LOVE IS… cards (print and cut up), and pick a card at random. Then tell a story based on the card you’ve chosen. (Some of these concepts will be difficult for the younger set, so parents may want to be select only certain cards.) You might even consider making this a daily practice this week–perhaps choosing a new card in the morning, then sharing your stories in the evening.
Remember that Paul is writing about God’s love, which is far bigger and better than we can imagine! Our hope is to imitate God’s love for us. If you are ever frustrated with your ability to imitate God’s love–remember that the first thing Paul tells us is that God’s love is patient. God will love us even when we try and fail. That is GOOD NEWS!
To close your family liturgy time say this adapted version of 1 Corinthians 13 together, followed by the brief prayer:
God’s love is patient, God’s love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, God’s love doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. God’s love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. God’s love never fails!
Help us to love like you.
Casey W. FitzGerald is Associate Pastor for Children & Families and Young Adults at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. She writes about storytelling at Faith and Wonder and and tells stories each week on her podcast, Story Divine.