We are now in the month of February, and because we will celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, this is the month we think of love! There is an old riddle found in many old folktales: a King wants to know which of his daughters loves him best; he asks each, ‘How much do you love me?’ The first daughter says something like, ‘I love you as much as I love my life.’ The second daughter says something like, ‘I love you better than all the world.’ But the third daughter says, ‘I love you as much as meat loves salt.’ The king is not happy with that answer. Meat loves salt? What a boring, simple answer! That does not sound special, or beautiful, or even sweet! Salt tastes salty! And so the king sends the daughter away. But the daughter does love her father, so she sneaks back to the castle into the kitchen. And one day when the king has a big feast, the third daughter prepares all the meat to be served withOUT using salt. When the king goes to eat the food, it tastes terrible! The meats are all boring and flavorless and tough and inedible! Without simple salt, the meat in no good. The king hollers, ‘There is no salt in the meat! How can I eat meat without salt?’ And then the king realized what his daughter spoke was true. ‘I thought my daughter did not love me when she said she loved me as much as meat loves salt. Now I see with those simple words, she loved me best of all.’ And the third daughter came from the kitchen and hugged her father and they lived happily ever after.
In our Bible story today, we hear well-known words about love. These words tell us what love is…but we don’t hear fancy, expensive, complicated definitions. We hear simple, real, doable descriptions. Love is patient–when we love, we do not rush each other. Love is kind–when we love, we are nice to each other. Love is not rude–when we love, we respect each other. Love is not selfish–when we love, we think about others. Love does not do wrong–when we love, we work for what is right. And most importantly, love does not end. When we love, we love always.
God loves you. God loves us with a patient, kind, thoughtful, unending love. God loves us in this simple way that we might learn to love each other in this simple way. Nothing fancy. Nothing complicated. Nothing hard. Just love. At least love.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for loving me.
to love others
like You love me
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.