If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
This is undoubtedly one of the loveliest passages in the Bible, and the favorite chapter of many people. We read it at weddings and think about the love between two people who pledge their lives together. Beautiful words. Not often practiced.
I just read an upsetting article this morning, however, about the family who developed and marketed the opioid drug OxyContin. They became billionaires and donated monies to countless cultural and educational entities, but also deluded doctors and the medical profession about the drug’s dangers, and cause thousands of deaths annually from drug overdoses. And they are not being held accountable for their participation in causing this opioid crisis. The world largely does not associate this family name with the monster drug they created. They see their philanthropy and give them honorary degrees. In the eyes of God, they are as nothing.
I do not understand how justice may be circumvented, and how one can knowingly mislead others and cause such destruction to so many lives. It doesn’t matter how much money they give to build new wings on cultural or educational institutions. The money has come on the back of terrible tragedies they have caused. There’s no love in that.
Dear God, our world is so flawed. We don’t understand love, nor do we live it out as we should. Forgive our wrongdoing, and the way we try to bury our wrongs so no one sees. Teach us to love, for the sake of your glorious name. Amen.