Sometimes we have to go back to our earliest memories of this glorious chapter and remind ourselves of the words of the King James version of the Bible: 'Through a glass darkly' is its words for verse 12 and it reminds us that in Paul's time and for hundreds of years afterwards, the best glass could not reflect clearly what you looked like! Most people in Paul's day did not have an accurate picture of themselves! The finest mirror gave back just a murky reflection at best: what an image of how things are generally for us in this world! We get little fragments of God's presence, we see tiny models of His beauty in the world around us. I've been reading 'A comedian's prayer book', written by Frank Skinner and I've been amazed by his imagination and thoughts as he comes to God in prayer. That may be because of his Catholic Faith which encourages creative thinking, but it reminds me that human beings don't just take things in through reading and listening, but in visual images too.
At the very core of God is love. He created all things in love, He sent His Son in love and He is preparing a rich inheritance for His children in Heaven in love. We require hope to not only get us through life, but to enable us to surmount the various obstacles along the way; we have to have faith, how could we be a believer if we didn't believe?! But far superior is love, not that it is a competition! Those three attributes strengthen one another; in other words, the more faith we have, the easier to hope and love; the more hope we have of God living amongst us, the more our faith and love can grow; the more deeply we love our Lord and Saviour- and what does He do to diminish that love?-the greater our faith and hope develop.
To finish: nothing that you do or say as a Christian without love is any good whatsoever. You may aspire to speak in tongues, to perform spectacular miracles, to preach incredibly impressive sermons: but none of it will be any good if it is not done in a spirit of love. I was once at a service in a large church and the minister was highly respected in Christian circles. The tech people were struggling that day and he lambasted them from the front. I thought to myself, 'That has negated any good that might be done or said in this service this morning.'