Wesley Word-Jan. 26, 2022

Sonia Baker   -  

To go along with service on: Sunday, January 30, 2022 

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth
Epiphany: A Season of Signs – The Sign of Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

This week we continue our Epiphany series, Epiphany: A Season of Signs, with the Sign of Love. 

The 1970’s rock band Foreigner sang, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” In the famous passage 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul attempts to answer that question.

The church in Corinth was in deep conflict about morality, theology, worship practices, and spiritual gifts, among other things. Basically, if you could fight about it in church, the Corinthians were fighting about it. That is why Paul drops this love bomb in the middle of his letter of correction and conflict resolution. 

In a nutshell, what the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 13 say is, “You can have all the right theology, worship, spiritual gifts, and ministries, but if you do not have love to go along with it, none of it matters. That is not to say that theology and all of that other stuff does not matter, because love without truth is just mushy sentiment. Paul does not define love but he does describe it and, as you can tell, Paul’s vision of love goes beyond warm positive feelings to the hard work of self-sacrifice for the good of another.

Love is not only a sign of who God is, because 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love,” but it is also a sign of the true disciple of Jesus Christ because Jesus said in John 13:35 that the world would know us by our love for each other. Christian love begins with loving God, extends to loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, then to our non-Christian neighbors, and even to our enemies. Love takes different forms at each of these levels, and sometimes we have to love long-distance for our own safety, but we continue to love. I have heard someone say that the lowest level of love is not wishing someone else harm, maybe we could at least start there. 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Who do I need to do a better job loving this week? How can I do that?

New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/ 

  • January 26 Matthew 17:10-27
  • January 27 Matthew 18:1-20
  • January 28 Matthew 18:21-19:12
  • January 29 Matthew 19:13-30
  • January 30 Matthew 20:1-28
  • January 31 Matthew 20:29-21:22
  • February 1 Matthew 21:23-46
  • February 2 Matthew 22:1-33

Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Sharing Love- Write all the members of your family on a separate slip of paper. Put all the slips of paper in a bowl or something similar and have each family member draw a name (make sure they don’t draw their own). The challenge is to focus on the person drawn to show them love (letting them pick the TV show, help them pick up toys, help the person with a chore, make them a card, spend some time telling the person why you love/appreciate them, etc.). At the end of the day, discuss, as a family, how love was shown and how it felt (both to give and receive). Encourage the family to then do the activity on their own out in the community; just pick a person and shower them with love! 

Announcements:

  • WOW (Worship on Wednesdays) is CANCELED tonight due to scheduling conflicts. The program will resume next Wed, Feb. 2!
  • Jan. 28, 5 pm Eagles & Ivories Soup Supper & Concert
  • Jan. 29, 5 pm Eagles & Ivories Syncopation Desserts & Concert
  • Jan. 30, 11 am Jazz Sunday (8 & 9 am services will continue as usual)