Listen to Thought for the Day on BBC Sounds

In front of me, even as I speak, is a pink cup. It’s garish, bright, decorated with flowers. It’s so not me and yet I love it!

The reason why I’m happy when I see it is because it was a wedding present from a favourite Primary School teacher.

Last week I told you about the cruel actions of my abusive P 3 mistress. Well, if she was ‘Miss Trunchbull’, this other teacher was ‘Miss Honey’. Not only had she a beautiful, kind and happy face but she had a gentle spirit which spilled over love and generosity to all her pupils. She didn’t just have a private faith in the Lord Jesus but she lived that out in the classroom.

Sometimes at weddings I read a version of that great description of love which is to be found in 1st Corinthians 13.

“Love is patient and kind; never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices when the truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to them no matter the cost. You will always believe in them, always expect the best of them and always stand your ground in defending them. Faith, hope and love remain- but the greatest of these is Love.”

I often wondered why love is the greatest and I think it’s because while faith and hope are excellent qualities that we are called to display, love is even greater because God is love.

And so for a wee boy in Primary 5, God’s love was experienced through the kind words, respectful actions and generous attitudes of a believing teacher which at my wedding spilled over into this gift of a garish pink cup decorated with flowers which while so not my taste I love, because it reminds me of a teacher who lived out the beautiful love of God.

Good morning.