Often at the end of Paul’s letters, he includes a series of sayings or admonishments that reflect on his key themes in the letter. One gets the sense when reading this series of sayings that Paul is using military language here with the Corinthians. The Corinthian church was dealing with quite a few difficult and divisive issues so here Paul chides them and urges them to grow up and become mature in the faith, ready for what is to come. But Paul saves the most important reminder for last “let all that you do be done in love.” This has been the ultimate key to what is missing in the Corinthian church. Paul calls for love to be the guiding principle in all the Corinthians do.
This serves as a pertinent reminder for us today. Sure, we certainly need to keep alert, stand firm in our faith, be courageous and strong, but what we really need is love. More importantly, what the world really needs is love. This is to be the central call for believers everywhere. Choosing to love people is how we will be a church and a people that are for our city. One never has to apologize for loving.