I think loving me the hardest of all. I don’t mean the “I can’t be bothered.” … the “I could never do that.” … the “Let someone else do it.” Nor do I mean the “I am better than anyone else.”… the “I have rights.” … the “What about me.”
I mean loving me as I would love my own child … my own partner … that stranger in need … that best friend I have known for ever … that special someone I would walk over hot coals for …
That kind of “loving me”.
The greatest of these.
God? Well loving God comes in all shapes and sizes. Initially like a stranger who must be obeyed. Then, perhaps, as a wonderful deity who can only be worshipped and praised. Then, maybe, the most important relationship in my life. Then, possibly, a friend – a best friend. No longer the detached “up there” gaseous ether. Now someone I trust. Not to “fix things” all the time. That is my role – just like no friend expects me to “fix things” in every part of their life. That would be just plain weird! Just someone who will always think the best of me. Never give up on me. Always have an ear for me.
I heard someone who does daily marathons for a living say that we rarely – if ever – really know what we are each capable of. I think that lack of knowing underpins this “The Greatest of these” …
Others? Well loving others is pretty easy too. An odd donation … I am praying for you … My thoughts are with you … perhaps even a volunteering of my time – my skills – my resources – my heartbeats – perhaps even my whole diary! Which is like giving my life for you (the “others” we must love). Except that is a weird kind of love. It’s an obligation kind of love. A duty kind of love. A service kind of love. A bit like a God kind of love. I should (if I am a good Christian).
I heard someone say that “We are a broad church”. That the buildings aren’t “it” that “we are” it. But I still don’t really know what “it” is. Or why I am expected to go to “it”. I think “it” gets in the way of “The Greatest of these” …
And then me.
What I have found over the years is that when I consciously register that I am “doing” love (in whatever moment of my life and with whoever that moment is with) … It is no longer love. It is me “giving”.
And I have learned that when I think “giving” I think “getting” (in some weird default can’t control it kind of way). I have found that when this “The Greatest of these” is a “commandment” … giving AND getting become involved.
And when that kicks in – loves checks out.
And as I absorb the essence of (what I think) is the point of the bible … I find that “commandment stuff” less and less relevant. Along with all this “transaction” faith we have created … The need to sign-up for the creeds stuff. The “I believe” stuff. The hierarchy stuff. The “institution” stuff. The “religion” stuff which includes creation and sin and a lot of deaths and more sin and atonement through more killing innocent creatures bred for the purpose of “their blood shed for me”.
And then the great “reset”.
The cross and resurrection – and a conundrum. The “blood shed for me” being the biggie – with the “resurrection” being the proof it’s all good. Because if the blood is “it” then why the need for the resurrection? And if the resurrection is “it” why the need for the killing and blood? there is loads of healing and bringing others back to life – loads of “your sins ore forgiven” – all without a cross in sight …
And why the “facts and evidence” we have now made all of this. The “But God Says” (in the bible). And the bible is The Word of God (but the Koran isn’t). Nor is (just) the Old Testament. Nor is the continuous political meddling relevant – other than it proves the bible IS God inspired (really???).
Why that “need” for the bible to be “it” – unless it is so the church can be “it” – which means I get to be “it” by being saved and believing in all of “it”?
The Greatest of these.
Two words have become more and more powerful in my journey with The Greatest of these …
The Greatest of these is I and Am.
(what else can top that?)