Open Your Bible
John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 John 4:7-19
Saturdays were pancake days. Regardless of what activities the day held, it always began with batter and blueberries.
I would come down the stairs mid-morning, always last and always late. Sometimes we had additional guests, phone call interruptions or fluctuating appetites, but the scene was always the same:
I knew my brother would want milk, and seconds.
He knew I wouldn’t be mad if he used all of the syrup.
I knew my dad would request coffee first, pancakes later.
He knew I would eat the most blueberries.
I knew my mom would mention how my Papa used to call them ‘hotcakes.’
She knew I would want to flip the “pancakes, not hotcakes!” myself.
They all knew not to talk to me before 8 am.
One night I sleepily told my mom, “I love you more than blueberry pancakes!,” because in my opinion, there was nothing better. We began using the phrase frequently and, although I outgrew my small plate, twin-sized bed and eventually my quaint hometown, I would never outgrow this phrase that said I miss you, I love you, I can’t wait to see you again, and I’ll always be there, all in one.
“Love you!”, my mom texted to me on my first night in my college dorm. “Love you more than blueberry pancakes!”, I replied. I knew I was trading pancake Saturdays for dining hall delicacies (I was clearly mislead), but the thought made me look forward to the next time I’d be home with my mom and her mixing bowls. It tasted even better in my mind than in my mouth.
Before you think I’m leading you to measure your love in terms of actual fruit, look again at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, where Paul is also looking forward to something:
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
-1 Corinthians 13:12
Does anyone’s heart LEAP and get crazy excited about heaven when you hear this? Me too, me too!
The type of love we are given as a fruit of the Spirit is agape love, which is a goodwill, benevolent, brotherly kind of affection. In fact, one of the most well-known passages about love—1 Corinthians 13—concludes with Paul’s beckoning description of heaven, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Friends, the love of Christ in us makes us a sisterhood joined by the heart-leaping hope of Heaven. This love—an earthly display of eternal perfection—is the essence of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. And, it is ours as a gift! His love for us fuels our love of others while we await our great going Home.
In his book The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis says that loving others as ourselves “is an image, a foretaste of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival.” Love is the result of God in us. We truly do love because He first loved us. This love is viewing others through a heavenly lens, a God-given tool to fasten our heart strings to the hope of Glory.
We are a family standing in the waiting room of Fully Known, determined to exchange a foretaste of what’s to come. And so, whether it be through words, actions or pancakes, may our love always be a result of Jesus’ love for us—a reminder that we are His.