THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVII – WEDNESDAY 

LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1‒13 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 

We should slant all our laws in such a way that they always bring out the necessity of love. When they are of service and useful to our neighbor, we must keep them; when they are harmful, we are to let them go. 

Take a rather crude example! Supposing a housefather had the rule that in his house fish, meat, wine, and beer must be eaten and drunk as it is available and procurable. And supposing that one of his servants became sick and could no longer drink beer or wine, or eat meat or fish, but that the housefather was not prepared to allow him any change of diet, saying, “You know what the rule is! It’s that or nothing else!” What would you think of such a housefather? He should be put on a permanent diet of hellebore to purge his brains! 

If he had any sense at all, he would simply say, “It is quite true that today, according to my rule or ordinance, we should be eating meat or fish. But because this food does not agree with you, eat what you like!” 

David illustrates this point when he ate the bread of the Presence which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests (Matthew 12:3). Neither David nor his servants were consecrated. Did he and his servants sin then in eating the consecrated bread which only the priests were permitted to eat (1 Samuel 21:1‒6)? God’s command was quite clear. David did not sin here. Why? Because the higher law, the law of love, compelled him to act in this way. 

In a Christian context, all laws must be slanted or bent according to the love of one’s neighbor. Where necessity demands it, love knows no laws. 

SL 11:1678 (10,13) 
AE 79:154‒161 

PRAYER: O God, our heavenly Father, pour out Your love into our hearts in such a manner that it always flows over into our lives in fervent love for one another, in and through Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.