Love is the key to the Christian life. But I think, sometimes, we miss the mark on our definition of love. While this chapter is frequently read at weddings, I believe it has less to do with weddings than the everyday relationships between friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
Jesus said the first commandment was to love the Lord. But what kind of love is this? It certainly isn't the same kind of physical desire and emotion that men and women sometimes feel for one another. It is, in fact, not a "feeling" so much as a decision and commitment. You seek the Lord and His will for your life, so that what you do pleases Him. It is His approval that you are wanting. His "well done, good and faithful servant" is your goal.
We love the Lord by loving what He created. This kind of love is committed to the well-being of the other. We are to work for the benefit of the Lord's creation. Since man was created in the image of God, when we look at another person, we should strive to see the mark of God on him or her. It is that essence of the divine in each person that we respect and admire.
The qualities of love in Paul's list spring from the recognition of God's image in man. We have no clear picture of God except what of God is reflected in man. In eternity, we shall see Him face to face - no veil, no shadow, no dim mirror.
Prepare us to see You face to face. Create in us Your love for all mankind. Help us to hear as You hear, see as You see, and feel as You feel.
In Jesus' most precious name.