The Greatest of These
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, discuss: “When I think of love, I picture…”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Opening: Have participants report on their practice of choice from last week.
Read: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
- As a group, come up with as many definitions of the word “love” as you can in five minutes. Write them on a large Post-it note or find some other way to display the definitions for all participants to see.
- When do we usually hear 1 Corinthians13 recited? [weddings] In light of the context of this passage, that of a church fight about gifts, is 1 Corinthians 13 fit for weddings? How so?
- How is it helpful to see 1 Corinthians 13 as what it means to display and embody our salvation? (We are saved for love.)
- Compare and contrast love as often romanticized in movies and novels versus how love is displayed by God and written about in 1 Corinthians 13.
- How has God demonstrated love? [most specifically, tangibly and sacrificially giving of the Son for the benefit of others]
- What makes love a “better way” (12:31)? [benefits others and is enduring]
- Complete the worksheet below for 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Then discuss the following questions:
- Which attribute of love comes most easy for you?
- Which attribute of love is most difficult for you?
- Are there any specific Scripture passages that come to mind where God has demonstrated these attributes?
- (R) What might it look like for you “put an end to childish ways” (13:11)?
- (R) How can this group help you to be more loving toward others?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of love, you have shown us a better way. We confess that we often fall far short of this standard. May we be reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit such that our ability to love you and love others expands. Empower us to love all those you have called us to love. Amen.