. . . and the brilliance of Dr. Lockwood for pointing it out!
I'm preaching this Sunday on the epistle for Trinity 18 in the one-year lectionary, which is I Corinthians 1:(1-3) 4-9. Looking at v. 4 in his commentary in the Concordia Commentary series Father Lockwood says, "Faced by the host of problems in the Corinthian congregation, Paul might naturally be expected to begin on a note of complaint. But he takes care not to let the abundant abberations loom so large in his mind that they sour his relationship with the church and make him lose sight of the far more abundant grace of God. As their faithful apostle, pastor, and intercessor, he first assures the Corinthians that he always thanks God for them (p.34)."
Taking this a step further, we should first always thank God for each other as members of the Holy Catholic Church, (which is) the Communion of Saints. If we did so, it would help our conflicts to be less bitter and our resolutions all the more joyful.
Thanks be to God for faithful pastors, and thanks be to God for such a faithful commentary to remind us of what we already know in our hearts to be true.