As for tongues, they will cease

I Cor 13:8

Speaking in tongues isn’t lost to the world yet, but it’s endangered. Not many Christians have witnessed someone speaking in tongues, even fewer have seen the message interpreted. Is this because most congregations don’t have anyone who speaks in tongues, so it isn’t valued? Or the inverse: where speaking in tongues isn’t valued, it rarely happens. What’s the point of a spiritual gift if it doesn’t enrich communal and individual faith?

Paul is trying to say something vital in these six words: Gifts aren’t permanent. They are holy and valuable because they point to us to God – and through them we can be drawn into God’s love. God doesn’t seem particularly picky about the methods and means for reaching us, surrounding us and filling us with love. When tongues cease, it won’t be because God isn’t with us: tongues cease when we finally realize that God’s love dwells in us with or without them.

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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