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The Orchard

DAY 1 OF 9

Love: 1 Cor 13

Read through the poem twice. After taking time on the first reading to familiarize yourself with the passage, on the second, take time to ponder and notice.

The Supremacy of Love

1 If I could speak all the languages
used by men and angels,
but do not express love,
I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

2 If I could prophesy about all the mysteries,
and have faith to move mountains,
but do not know love,
I am nothing.

3 If I give away everything I own
and surrender my body to martyrdom,
but do not give love,
I cannot boast I’ve done anything.

4 Love is long suffering and love is kind.
Love is not jealous, boastful, or conceited.

5 Love is not pretentious or self-seeking.
Love is not irritable or resentful.

6 Love, unhappy with injustice, is pleased with truth.

7 Love is all-enduring, all-believing,
ever hopeful, and ever steadfast.

8 Love never fails.
Prophecies will vanish, tongues will fall silent,
and our knowledge will fade away.

9 We know imperfectly and prophesy imperfectly.

10 But when the eschaton comes,
we will be done with imperfection.

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child,
thought like a child, and reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I stopped my childish ways.

12 as for now, we see mere reflections in a mirror,
but then, we will see clearly, face to face.
As for now, my knowledge is imperfect,
but then, I will fully know, even as I was fully known.

13 Three things will always remain:
faith, hope, and love.
The most supreme is love.

Philip Comfort, The Poems and Hymns of the New Testament. Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers. www.wipfandstock.com

Notice the groupings of three in the passage. (Groupings of three are interesting to note in the other passages to come also.)

The first three verses/stanzas are three if/then statements highlighting the absence of love, though the actions depicted are grand theatrical gestures.

These are followed by eight simple statements about what love is or looks like. Though stated simply they are difficult to fulfill and have great depth. The last statement is particularly profound; Love never fails…. As human beings that is impossible to fulfill but shows the depth of the love of God. A love like that, for those around us, is only possible through knowing God.

There are then three things that pass away. They closely resemble the grand gestures of the first three stanzas.

Verses nine to 12 contain three statements about knowledge, pointing out how imperfect and dim it is now but there is hope that we will know better when Christ returns. However, for now there are three things that remain and are more important for living and to help guide us than our imperfect knowledge; faith hope and love. Love of course being the chief among them.

The melody in the music closely follows the above outline and the hymn-like section in the middle of the piece, which depicts the eight simple statements about love, appears again in some of the other pieces. Implying, of course, that the other fruit of the Spirit are the outworking of love.

Day 2

About this Plan

The Orchard

The Orchard combines the poetry of the New Testament with piano music inspired by those poems plus beautiful video footage. This series of videos allows space for quiet contemplation allowing the Spirit of Christ to work...

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We would like to thank Naomi Brown of Contemplative Cadences for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://contemplativecadences.com/

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