1 Corinthians 13:1-13
It doesn’t matter if your language is laced with love if your words fall on deaf ears. And if Paul’s second letter to the conflicted Corinthians is any indication they were not convinced by this still more excellent way. Forty years later St. Clement begins his letter to the same congregation “My dear friends, take care to do good and virtuous deeds in unity before him, and be citizens worthy of him; or his many good works towards us may become a judgment on us all” and ends it with “let us not be in two minds, and let us have no doubts about his excellent and glorious gifts.” It sounds like the noisy gongs and clanging cymbals are still drowning out patience, kindness and rejoicing in the right. It is a sad commentary on the church that conflict comes so easily to those the living God has loved into being but maybe that is because knowing in part and seeing dimly lends itself to limited love. But if with our limited vision we fix our eyes on the limitless, who emptied himself, taking on the servant’s form, suffering the criminal’s death then insisting on one’s own way is much harder to do. In the shadow of the cross the love that bears, believes, hopes, and endures moves the mountain of arrogant pride and selfish ambition and then faith, hope and love really does abide in us. I think in that moment we know all there is to know and see face to face the one who died that love would never end.