I’ve finally finished reading Tom Wright’s ‘Surprised by Hope’. It’s taken far too long, but it has to go very nearly to the top of my ‘best reads’ pile. This might give you an idea why. Classic Wright:
…Paul gives the fullest exposition in all early Christian writing of Jesus’ resurrection and what it means. It means that a new world order has opened up in the midst of the present one. God’s future has arrived in the present in the person of the risen Jesus, summoning everybody to become people of the future, people in Christ, people remade in the present to share the life of God’s future. Our present experience, even our present Christian experience, is incomplete. But in Christ we have heard the complete tune; we know now what it sounds like and that we shall one day sing it in tune with him. Our present experience, with all its incompleteness, is meant to point us to the fact that we will one day wake up and arise from sleep. That, after all, is what resurrection is all about…
…The point of 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is not out duty; it is our destiny. It is the language Jesus spoke, and we are called to speak it so that we can converse with him. It is the food they eat in God’s new world, and we must acquire the taste for it here and now. It is the music God has written for all his creatures to sing, and we are called to learn it and practise it now so as to be ready when the conductor brings down his baton. It is the resurrection life, and the resurrected Jesus calls us to begin living it with him and for him right now. Love is at the very heart of the surprise of hope: people who truly hope as the resurrection encourages us to hope will be people enabled to love in a new way. Conversely, people who are living by this rule of love will be people who are learning more deeply how to hope.
(Wright, Tom. ‘Surprised by Hope’, London: SPCK 2007, p300-301)
If it isn’t about love, it’s not worth anything.