Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Cor. 13

If I speak in human tongues
or the tongues of angels
but have no love,
I am a sounding gong
or clashing cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy
and knowledge of every hidden truth,
if I have faith enough to move mountains
but have not love,
I am nothing.
If I give everything I have to feed the poor
and hand over my body to be burned, 
but have not love,
I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind.
Love envies no one,
it is not snobbish.
Love is never rude, never selfish,
never quick to take offense
neither does it brood over injuries.
Love keeps no score of wrongs,
takes no pleasure in the sins of others
but delights in the truth.
Lover bears all things
believes all things
endures all things.

Love never fails.
Prophecies will cease;
tongues will be silent;
knowledge will pass away.
For our knowledge & our prophecy alike 
are partial,
and the partial vanishes when wholeness comes.

When I was a child, 
I spoke like a child;
I thought like a child;
I reasoned like a child;
but when I grew up
I put away childish things.
For now we see but puzzling reflections
as in a fun-house mirror;
but one day we shall see face to face.
My knowledge now is partial;
then it will be complete
as God's knowledge of me  is complete.
There are three qualities that last forever:
faith, hope, and love:
the greatest of these is love.

I found this as I was going through some old notebooks last night; it was written circa 1987.

I sat down with the Bible translations in my library (KJV, RSV, NAB,& Jerusalem) and picked out the phrases that seemed the most meaningful and/or felicitous. I'll confess I changed a few phrases for this transcription.

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