As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The empty tomb of Easter reminds all of us the new life that God has offered us in Jesus Christ. As we get ready to face today, what will it look like if I clothe myself with love?
I have sometimes applied this passage to couples at their wedding ceremony, by asking the new bride and groom to listen to the description of love from I Corinthians chapter 13, and then to try inserting their name in the place of the word love.
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.
(JB Phillips, New Testament in Modern English)
Today, try that for yourself:
I will love the people that I meet as:
I will be slow to lose patience.
I will look for ways of being constructive.
I will not be possessive.
I will use my good manners and will not pursue a selfish advantage.
I will not be touchy.
I will live in a way that shows God’s love to all those around me as I clothe myself with love.
God of love, let me share with everyone I meet today a generous portion of the love You have shown me in my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.