As I write this, we're in the height of the Valentine's season. (Yes, it's become an entire season now.) Everyone, in some way, is talking about love. Sometimes it's with sparkling eyes and hopeful hearts, sometimes it's with tears and bitterness, sometimes it's with some other emotion. The point is, we all seemed to be focused on love.
As I write this, we're in the middle of one of the harshest winters in recent history. The Northeast has been hit by storm after storm, and it hasn't even gotten warm enough in between storms to melt the snow from the previous one. Temperatures have stayed below freezing for weeks at a time. Everyone, in some way, has been affected by this weather. Sometimes it's with frustration at canceled classes and working days lost, sometimes it's because they are fed up with shoveling snow and scraping ice off cars, sometimes it's with playful glee at the abundance of snow, sometimes it's with concern at finding somewhere warm enough to sleep at night.
As I write this, this is a time of year in which we seem to celebrate the greatest of these, but forget the least of these. That well-known verse in 1 Corinthians tells us that while faith, hope, and love remain, love is the greatest of these. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that the hungry, thirsty, naked and stranger are the least of these.
Unlike faith or hope, love is direct. We have faith in God, and hope for the future, but we love both God and others. I can tell others of my faith, and share with them all my hopes, but I cannot transfer these to them. My love is the medium by which I can truly illustrate both my faith and my hope. Love is what makes the difference between work, and works. We are called to clothe ourselves in love, for it creates harmony in all things together.
Love is powerful, perfect and constant. It casts out fear. It covers many sins. It is evidence that we know God. And in loving God, we are called to love the least of these: those in need around us, our neighbors.
So in this season of love, let us love not only our spouses and crushes and significant others and friends, let us also love the least of these. It may be something as small as a smile, giving directions to someone who is lost, or giving a cup of hot chocolate to the person on the street. But whatever we do, let us give the greatest of these, to the least of these. And let us do it in the name of Jesus (Col 3:17).
Be blessed and shine with love!