Contemporary version of 1 Cor. 13
What would Paul have said in 1999?
If I speak with the confidence of Rush Lindbaugh and sing with the ease of Celine Dion but don't have love, my words are like scraping fingernails against a frozen windshield. If I can program NASA's mainframe computer and outsmart my chemistry professor, If I can memorize the Psalms and read Leviticus without dozing, if I can even predict the future but have not love, my value is equal to that of warm spit. If I give my Tommy Hillfiger wardrobe to Goodwill and let my little sister rummage through my closet, If I go to the stake and fry as a martyr, or if I donate a gallon of blood every hour but don't have love, my offerings are useless.
Love is patient--even if it means skipping a trip to 31 Flavors in order to tutor an immigrant.
Love is kind--it doesn't stoop to polish jokes, Whitey jibes, slanty-eye stories, or jokes about Jews.
Love does not envy the captain of the basketball team, the National Merit finalist, the class president, or even the blonde who sports the most even tan.
Love doesn't get a swelled head over straight A's or a scholarship to Princeton. Love isn't snooty about a new Corvette or a season pass to the world's premiere ski resort. Love never jeers at the kid who hangs out of his t-shirt in PE.
Love smiles when getting cut-off on the interstate. Love submits an honest tax return. Love doesn't whine about the referee's bad call. Love believes that God is always providing the best stuff in life. Love hangs on to hope when a family is splitting apart.
Love does not change like hemlines and hairdos. Love is like the Energizer bunny. It lasts and keeps on going. In the end only these three things will be left: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is Love.
(by Karl Haffner, Pastor, Walla-Walla College Seventh-Day Adventist Church, College place, Washington.)