Saturday, December 24, 2016
1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 8
In 2011 my parish celebrated its 90th anniversary and over the course of the year we highlighted various aspects of our history. In the spring, it was the Sunday School; in the summer, it was all the weddings that had taken place and in the fall we acknowledged all the women’s organizations that have been part of our story. To commemorate the unique ministries of women, we invited 24 different women to each embroider a square that others sewed into a large wall hanging. The blocks depict both words and flowers, done in red embroidery. The words spell out St. Paul’s iconic missive which begins Love is patient, love is kind, and concludes with the bold pronouncement: love never fails. The resulting hanging is stunning and for the last five years it has hung on a large wall in the nave. In our rush to complete it, the layers were tied rather than quilted and we’ve been very pleased with the results, until a quilter joined our congregation. With gentle prodding, she convinced us to actually quilt it for our recent 95th anniversary, and as you can imagine, it is now even more stunning to behold. St. Paul’s poetic lines tell us of the great mystery – and transformational power – that is love. Though often hard work, true love never fails, always believing the effort, however challenging, is worth it. It forever hopes for a better tomorrow, it is never rude or self-serving.
How do we know how to love? Our Advent readings indicate we love because God loved us first. We love because God gave us the best gift possible, born this night in the city of David. “Love came down at Christmas” proclaims Christina Rossetti in her 1885 poem, now a beloved carol. These Advent days having been preparing the way for us to receive anew the Christ child: may “love be yours and love be mine.”
– Frances Drolet-Smith