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First Sunday of Advent

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First Sunday of Advent: Love Is Kind

November 27, 2016

"Love is patient and kind." –I Corinthians 13:4

 


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Devotional Text

To read along with the audio, click on the red play button above and scroll below.

We begin with an aspect of love that may seem like a slender virtue. If we think that kindness is something small, however, then we must not know the full biblical meaning of kindness or understand the extraordinary kindness of the Love Divine.

The word that Paul uses for kindness is unique. Perhaps we should translate the phrase like this: "love shows kindness." As in this example, all of the words in Chapter 13 used to describe love are not nouns but verbs. This means that Paul is not describing a feeling we have in our hearts, but rather something we do—love as an action, not an affection.

Every day we have opportunities to enhance the lives of others through kindness, which in some cases may prove to be a saving kindness. Not that we could ever be anyone's savior, of course. But one thing we can do is introduce people to the Savior by telling them about Jesus and his love. The greatest kindness we can ever show to anyone is to share the gospel.

We are also called to show merciful kindness. This means to show kindness to people who do not even deserve it. It is all too easy to divide the world between people who deserve our help and people who don't. If God divided the world that way, none of us would ever get any help from him, because none of us would ever deserve it.

God is also calling us to a generous kindness. We should give more to gospel charity, not less. We should spend more time—not less—with the sick and the homeless, with needy children and people in prison.

Sometimes our kindness can even be life changing, especially when we show people spiritual kindness. This includes sharing the Scriptures, giving wise spiritual counsel, offering gentle words of rebuke when such words are truly needed, and most of all by setting a godly example.

Are we known as people of kindness, or do people more commonly associate Christianity with attitudes that are stingy, judgmental, and hypocritical? Our calling is to live with such love that kindness becomes synonymous with Christianity and points people to the one and only Love Divine. 

Let Us Pray 

How magnificent you are, my God! Words are insufficient to express my gratitude for how you have overwhelmed me with your extravagant kindness. Your kindness is too wonderful to be self-contained. May it flow out through me for your glory. Show me day by day how to vibrantly share your kindness with those whom you have placed in my path.
— Eva Ortiz, Associate Director, Office of Multicultural Development

 

Reflective Question

What are some concrete ways in which we can enhance the lives of others through kindness?

 


About the Art

Art featured at the top of the page is courtesy of Hand & Cloth, an organization founded in 2007 by Sarah Aulie Ρουμπά ’04 that partners with global artisan groups and ministries to provide dignified, dependable employment for at-risk women in Bangladesh. The kantha dorokhas pictured here follow an ancient Bengali tradition in which women lovingly stitch together pieces of reclaimed cloth to create one-of-a-kind quilts for their families. The quilts beautifully embody Hand & Cloth’s mission to celebrate the creative, artisanal, and lovingly rendered work of women’s hands and their prayer that each women would come to know her special place in the world as the unique product of God’s loving handiwork.

 

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