At the beginning of the Church Year, many sang the hymn “Love Came Down at Christmas.” Indeed, the Bible says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16). It is only on Good Friday, however, that we discover the depth and power of God’s love in the cross of the Lord’s death. And so it was that ever since the beginning of His earthly ministry, after His Baptism, we are given clear hints about the true nature of God’s love. Initially people marveled at Jesus’ preaching and miraculous healings. Yet not only did the crowds quickly reject our Lord, but Satan also was actively opposing Him from the beginning. The love of God is the power of God to defeat Satan and free the world from the grip of sin and death. The standard of love is the cross of Christ. In today’s Epistle, Paul describes love in and through Christ. Substitute “Christ” for “love” and you get, “Christ is patient and kind; Christ does not envy or boast; . . . Christ rejoices with the truth.” This love of Christ is given to us and through us. “Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these” is the cross of Christ!