I am one of the lucky ones. None of my children ever expressed interest in playing percussion instruments! Perhaps with the arrival of grandchildren I will not be so lucky! For a year, we did have a young man live with us who played his drums and cymbals with gusto in the basement. But he was considerate to choose his practice times with care. It was never fun to jump in my chair with the sound of crashing cymbals!
Our verse for today describes spectacular feats as meaning nothing without love. Speaking in tongues or even in an angelic language may cause a stir and even impress. But without love, it is nothing more than the clashing noise of a cymbal or gong. It will cause people to sit up and take notice, but that is all. I was interested to learn that the religious ceremonies of Buddhist monks use cymbals and hand held-gongs during their chants and hymns.
The context of our verse is the spiritual gifts in the church. Very often, it is the visible spectacular gifts that are eagerly sought. Here, Paul explains that no gift or service to God is as important as showing love. That love is something available to all believers through the fruit of His Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Any service to the Lord done without love for Him and love for others is just annoying noise.
I sometimes feel my service to the Lord is not of the very best quality. There are always those with more talent. But God sees the heart and to Him what is done with love makes beautiful music!