Love is patient and kind; it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1 Cor 13: 4-7 (ESV)From James Griffin:
Music. I admit have a borderline obsession with it. I consider myself to have an incredible music collection, it only contains amazing music and anything I don’t have obviously isn’t worth having!
I own music from across genres and across the decades. I can’t imagine not putting music on in the morning and I have to get a fix last thing at night. So many songs speak to my soul, act as prayers or help me see beyond the everyday. Let alone act as a chance for some serious Dad-dancing!
The 1980s was the decade music came alive to me, and carefully tape-recording the charts and watching Top of the Pops was like a religion to me. Of course, as much as I’d like to suggest that I’ve always had a sophisticated and discerning taste, the odd 80’s power-ballad did make its way into my record collection – you know the sort – big hair, large coats, a lot of dry ice and an agonizing facial expression on the singer!
However, despite the ease with which we can chuckle at that particular era now, one particular song still packs a punch whenever I hear it. Many of you will know it, and know it well. You’d have heard it on ‘Waiting Room FM’ (as I call it!). The band Foreigner sold 3 million copies of ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’* and in my mind it’s always been a prayer.
The writer may well of course just be talking about romantic ‘eros’ love. But when I listen to this song, it’s ‘agape’ love – the love which transcends our humanity, the love of God which we see in Christ, that I comes to mind. This is the kind of love I think the writer of the song is really searching for.
Now, you may be thinking ‘it’s just a pop song’. But I do wonder how many people are asking the question posed in the title – the tired salesman singing along to it on yet another long motorway drive, the office cleaner on the 5am shift, the corner-shop owner at the end of another 18 hour day behind the counter, the overnight security guard sipping a coffee. It’s a song which expresses an honest question and puts it out there into the world as sound waves.
So… who will show people what love is? Because as we see from the verse above, ‘agape love’ is not a sentiment or a fuzzy feeling, it is something to be exhibited and witnessed, announced and experienced.
My prayer today is that people will find it in Jesus, through seeing it in us.
*See YouTube for a version with lyrics (as the actual video may be a distraction!)