A Nourishing Sandwich
"But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."1 Corinthians 13:13
Have you ever eaten a bread and jelly sandwich? Jelly in the middle, and bread on either side. If you just ate the bread without the jelly, it would probably be a little dry and tasteless. By the same token, if you just ate the jelly it might be delicious initially, but soon you would decide it was too sweet. That’s what I think Paul is saying in I Corinthians 12 through 14. Chapter 12 tells us about the spiritual gifts every Christian receives, and chapter 14 tells us how to use these gifts to edify the church.
In-between is chapter 13 – that beautiful portrait of love. What Paul is saying is that you can have spiritual gifts, but unless they are exercised in an atmosphere of real agape love, they can be as unappealing as bread without jelly. Love, also, is meant to be released as it flows through your life or my life. We don’t keep it to ourselves; we are to love others as God has loved us and just keeps on loving us.