Because life is a series of edits

A Thought on Puke Day

In Holidays on February 14, 2008 at 4:36 am

In honor of today being Puke Day (an old college moniker that has always seemed appropriate; for a more inspiring history, click here), I thought I’d share a little meditative exercise to bring some perspective to our modern-day understanding of love.

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ve heard 1 Corinthians 13 read ad nauseum. While a most beautiful and beloved passage in the Bible, our familiarity with it unfortunately often robs its depth of meaning and blinds us to just how difficult love (at least biblically defined) can be.

With this in mind, try reading the passage below, inserting your name in the place of “love” (I’ve added blanks to make it easy) and see how far you get:

4 _______ is patient and kind; _______ does not envy or boast; _______ is not arrogant 5 or rude. _______ does not insist on _______ ‘s own way; _______ is not irritable or resentful; 6 _______ does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 _______ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 _______ never ends.

Sadly, I don’t make it past the first line. Indeed, love is a many splendored thing, but I wouldn’t know the first thing about it apart from the person of Christ.

Happy Puke Day.

(Note: Lest anyone be overly concerned for the feminine majority in our house and their enjoyment of all things Valentine’s, here‘s how we usually celebrate the day.)

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  1. yeah. i couldn’t put my name in the first blank. perhaps, given the right context (like, rambling about how ‘right’ i am) i could put my name in the last blank though.

    good exercise.

  2. craig,

    i love you and i too fail the love test miserably. however, in love (hopefully) i must protest the linking of 1 corinthians 13 with valentines day. okay, maybe protest is a bit strong. i just get worked up over the fact that this passage is one of the most abused passages in all of scripture. if protestants had a pope i petition him to forbid its reading in all marriage ceremonies.

    the context surrounding 1 corinthians 13 make it abundantly clear that this passage isn’t referring to romantic love and certainly not the warm rush of infatuation most americans call love. the passage is talking about the love that every christian is supposed to have for every other christian, particularly ones we might not like or that we’d look down upon. it’s a call to live out the love of Christ within the body of Christ. what i would like to see is this text read whenever someone joins a church, or whenever a pastor is ordained to ministry. these ceremonies would be more appropriate places to read or recite the love passage.

    anyway, i’ll stop ranting now. sorry, couldn’t resist.

    love you brother.

  3. We seem to be missing each other in our discussions these days, Travis, but your point is the very one I’m trying to make. That is, Valentine’s Day, as it is often celebrated, has little if anything to do with the biblical definition of love.

    I agree that the context of the passage is within and for the church, but doesn’t that include the husband/wife relationships within the church, as well as the church’s perspective toward skeptics outside of it? Once again, it seems to me we’re saying the same thing, but both of us love arguing too much to admit it.

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