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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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"Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani!"

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by F. W. Krummacher (1796-1868)

Once, when a voice spoke from heaven to the people who were assembled around Jesus, the evangelist relates, that "some said it thundered; others, that an angel spoke to him." No one exactly knew what to make of the wondrous sound, although all were affected, amazed, and thrilled by a secret awe. Such are our feelings on the present occasion, on hearing the echo of the cry, which sounds down from the cross; and I confess that my soul trembles at the idea of approaching the unfathomable depth of suffering, from whence the cry of "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" proceeded. How much rather would I lie prostrate on my face in silence before this awful incident, than write or speak upon it! You know what happened to Luther, when he plunged himself in profound meditation on this most enigmatical and affecting part of the whole of our Savior's sufferings. He continued for a long time without food, and sat wide awake, but as motionless as a corpse, in the same position, on his chair. And when at length he rose up from the depth of his cogitation; as from the shaft of a mysterious mine, he broke into a cry of amazement, and exclaimed, "God forsaken of God! Who can understand it?" Yes, who is there that is able? We find ourselves surrounded by an impenetrable darkness. But if the understanding has here reached the boundary of all human comprehension, yet faith finds a path amid these mysterious shades. A holy light precedes it, and that light is derived from the Savior's Mediatorship. Enlightened by it, let us now contemplate, more closely, the awful cry of the dying Redeemer.

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