Where Is The Love?…or What The Principles Miss

A lot of the post-GA talk has implicitly invoked the seven principles…primarily the first and second ones. Don’t get me wrong…justice, equity and compassion are good things. However, in the all of the talk about justice, equity and compassion there seems to be something missing.

The principles state…

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Yet there is no mention of promoting love. But the Apostle Paul tells us…

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or 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. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

In all of UU-speak about standing on the side of love, do we actually have it? Do we really love people? Are we patient? Are we kind? Are we not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude? Do we not insist on our own way? Are we not irritable or resentful? Do we not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoice in the truth? Do we bear all things; believe all things; hope all things; endure all things? (we can debate what it means to believe and hope all things) Do we actually understand that the greatest of these is LOVE?

So…where is the love?