Summary: This is part of a series that paints a picture of Love
How many people remember the “Love is” comic strips? You are really showing your age.
The comic was a collection of single panel strips that began as a kind of private love story told by New Zealand artist Kim Casali to her future husband Roberto.
It started with private little notes with a small drawing that Kim wrote for Roberto, she’d tuck them in his pocket or send them to him when he was travelling.
What started as a private conversation turned into booklets in the late sixties before appearing as syndicated comic strip under the pen name “Kim” in 1970.
The syndication coincided very closely to the 1970 movie “Love Story” which of course contained the classic line "Love means never having to say you're sorry" How remembers the movie? Who cried at the movie?
In response to that line Ray Bradbury said “In that film Love Story, there's a line, Love means never having to say you're sorry. That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. Love means saying you're sorry every day for some little thing or other.”
And Kim must have agreed with Ray because probably the most famous of her comics said, "Love Is...being able to say you are sorry", and it was published for years on cards, posters and coffee cups.
At its peak in the seventies “Love Is” was earning Casali an estimated 10 million dollars a year.
And while it was never connected with the Summer of Love it contained the sentiment of the event whose mantra was “Make Love, Not War”.
But the statement “Love is . . .” goes back a lot further than the 1960s.
This is the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love, when 100,000 Hippies and Flower Children descended on San Francisco’s Haight Asbury district. And in 2017 we are celebrating the Summer of Love at Cornerstone by focusing on 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible’s chapter of Love.
And that’s where we find the statement “Love is. . .”
A short portion of the scripture was read for us earlier, now I’m going to invite you to stand as we read this responsively. I will read the white text and you can read the yellow text.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others,
I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains,
but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;
but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!
But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child.
But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
This morning we are going to focus on the first part of 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind. . .
And so Paul begins by telling us that Love is Patient In the King James Version it tells us that Love is “Long Suffering” and that probably draws a better word picture here. The Greek word that Paul used always describes patience with people and not patience with circumstances.
And there is a vast difference, you can embrace and embody patience with things, and your life verse can be Romans 12:12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. And even though you are patient in trouble and patient in circumstances you can still be impatient with people and that isn’t what love is all about.
I don’t struggle with road rage but sometimes I struggle with grocery store rage. “Seriously people, if you are going to meander don’t do it in the middle of the aisle.” And so, I need this as much as anybody does.