A correction, a lesson re-learned, and the best Valentine card


First, the correction. In my last article I used the pop culture song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” as the lead-in to my message. I incorrectly identified it as a Bob Marley song and made a couple of references to him. A few astute and faithful readers of The Citizen left comments pointing out my error, and a couple of them made some quite thoughtful theological reflections about the article itself.

So, my apologies to Bobby McFerrin, the actual song writer and singer of the song. And thanks to the astute and faithful readers of The Citizen for their help in setting the record straight.

Next, the lesson re-learned. Be very cautious about believing what’s on the internet. The day I wrote that article I was, as I’m guessing many if not most writers with a newspaper deadline are, in a hurry to meet that bewitching hour.

I quickly Googled “don’t worry be happy lyrics” and the first entry popped up as a song by Bob Marley. I promise you. That’s what it said, even though when I did the same thing later, sure enough, it came up Bobby McFerrin. Kinda crazy.

Back to that moment. I’m not a great connoisseur of reggae music, but I certainly know of Bob Marley, and in that instant it seemed to make sense, so I went on to make the main point I set out to share in my article, and never thought again about the facts of the song.

By the way, my message was an affirmation of God’s summons to respond to worry with prayer, trusting Him for the true happiness in life. Amen!

So, be careful believing something just because you found it on the internet. Amen to that, too!

Now, the best Valentine card. You very well may have heard that, in the Bible, 1st Corinthians 13 is known as “The Great Love Chapter.” I’ve shared it below. It is often used as the Scripture reading at weddings.

I have often read it in wedding services and have also most often used it to launch a message for the bride and groom concerning their lives and love together in their years of marriage.

That message goes like this. If we look at the words in 1st Corinthians 13 as a “mandate for love in a marriage,” we can only admit that no one could do this even with the deepest human love. No one could love in this perfect way. That is the point.

You see, what 1st Corinthians 13 declares is that this is a description of God’s love for us, God’s perfect love for us. Then, as a husband receives God’s perfect love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ, the husband can be a mirror to then reflect God’s kind of love to his wife, which elevates his love to the highest possible human level. Also, as a wife receives God’s perfect love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ, the wife can be a mirror to then reflect God’s kind of love to her husband, which elevates her love to the highest possible human level.

This is true love. This is the love that lasts a lifetime. This is the love that celebrates the joys of life to the full. This is the love that pulls through the most difficult and dark days life might offer up.

So, I can think of no better Valentine card than “The Great Love Chapter.” Please share it with your wife. Please share it with your husband. Please share it with your fiance as you prepare for your marriage. Please renew your reception of God’s perfect love and re-commit your promise to reflect God’s perfect love to each other. This will indeed elevate your love to the highest possible human level.

That will certainly make this “The Best Valentine’s Day Ever!” Amen!

1st Corinthians 13:1-8; 13

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;

5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends;

13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

[Kollmeyer, a Fayette County resident for 36 years, is Pastor Emeritus at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. Follow Pastor Scott Ness and this great church at www.princeofpeacefayette.org. Kollmeyer until recently was Interim Pastor at Word of God Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg. Find some of his video recorded sermons at www.woglutheran.org and follow Pastor Jason Dampier and this great church on this site.]