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Scripture Sunday: Charity or Love

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I don’t remember the first time I ever read the passage in the Bible 1Corinthians 13:1-13. Coming from a Catholic family and attending Catholic school, I can remember often times reading it through the years. I do, however, remember when it first began to resonate with me and I began to become obsessed with it.

When I was in college, I started running summer and winter Church camps for the Church of the Brethren. It was there that, as I was developing curriculum for 3rd-5th grade summer camp that I ran across an activity that brought this verse to life for me. The version I was using at the time was the “New International Version”; the activity works the same no matter what version you use. The activity is simple: read verse 4-9 and substitute your name for the word love.

That activity is what started my obsession with the verse. I don’t know why, but it took me a very long time before i looked it up in the King James Version. We’re talking years! More years than i want to count because my obsession started in college and it was just this year that I went to the King James Version. If I count the years, I have to admit that college did not end last year and i am not that old!

At first my mind had to adjust to reading the work charity where (in my mind) love should be. However, as I contemplated, read and reread, and really reflected on the verse, I love the King James Version much better. I think even more this verse resonates with me. This IS what I do, who I am. I mean, I found my calling working in a homeless shelter giving to children and families. My spiritual self was restless and questioning how I lived my daily life until I began working there.

I was once “accused” of wanting to save the world. Not a bad accusation, but the accuser thought it was an insult. I don’t think I can save the world, but I know I can make a difference.

This verse, this is who I am:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 KJV
[1] … Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. [2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. [3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. [4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, [5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; [6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [8] Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. [11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. [12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. …

Do you have a favorite verse? A verse that just resonates with you and stays with you always?

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About Jenni

I'm a happily married, thirty-something, Orthodox Chirstian, San Diegan, child development professions...that's me in a nutshell. But there is so much more to me! Come find out!

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