Around our rectangular dinner table recently, I wondered aloud about Paul’s declaration, in I Corinthians 13, that “these three remain” – faith, hope, and love – and that “the greatest of these is love.”
My proposal (which was batted about by the group, and eventually received some degree of affirmation) was as follows. Tell me what you think…
Hope is the looking-ahead to what is not yet present. As believers, we hope – we “wait eagerly” for our resurrection, our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22)
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. It is being confident that the things we hope for, in Christ, will be.
Faith and Hope are wonderful – elements of our reality in Christ. But they’re generally passive – they consist of our dependence upon Christ to do what he has promised. That’s good.
Love is where we step into the person of Christ. Love is where we become Christ to another of God’s image-bearers.
Love is a movement of our being – an alignment of our selves with the One through whom we live and move and have our being.
Love is not passive, not a “falling.” Love is a “plunging.”
Love is when I bring my faith and my hope together, find where they are pointing, and run that direction with all my might.