The opening verses to the Corinthian correspondence follow the Pauline pattern of over the top thanks for the faithful (the Galatian letter being the exception) before getting down to the heart of the matter. “I hear there are quarrels among you…” (1:11) While Paul might not have always “given thanks” for his brothers and sisters in Corinth he did have affection for them and hoped that they might live more fully into the gifts God had given them. To our great benefit his struggle with those puffed up with pride produced “Love is patient and kind…” which is as good a prose as has ever been penned. The foundation upon which 1 Corinthians 13 “love is” depends is the faithfulness of God who called the Corinthians into fellowship (1:9) and enriched them with gifts so that they might be a blessing to each other and subsequently the world. We might lament of all the ways in which the church has not lived out the grace of its calling but I think a better approach is to marvel at the ways the church works despite its being led by and inhabited by less than perfect humans. So we should not be surprised that the Corinthians coveted the gifts without giving credit to the giver. Or that the Galatians gave up the radical freedom of the Gospel for the familiar security of the law. We should be surprised that despite our failings we will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, which might mean we try harder in the here and now to live into our inheritance.