Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
In just a few days we will celebrate a “red rose” event. A day of romance or romantic recall. A day to celebrate love by exchanging cards or flowers or phone calls or hugs.
Sweet words and loving wishes are exchanged each year on the 14th day of February, Valentine’s Day.
Since the dawn of human creation poets, songwriters, novelists, historians, and research scientists have written about love.
Love: no topic has garnered more attention or captured the imagination of our race. And yet this thing called love has remained mostly a mystery and has been largely misunderstood.
Where does love come from? Where is it stored? Is there an endless supply of love? Is there a power in the universe that is more powerful than love? Can true love be destroyed? Or is love more akin to matter? The Law of Conservation of Mass tells us that matter can change form, but matter cannot be created or destroyed.
What is this thing called love? The Bible tells us that we love because God first loved us. The Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing means nothing. Sin, addiction, unbelief, loneliness, even death cannot separate us from love. God’s love, unlike human love, is not dependent upon behavior, attraction, shared bloodlines, or a return of affection. God’s love, like matter, is constant. In fact, the Bible defines the Master of Creation in this way: “God is Love.”
The human story cannot be told without some mention of this mysterious power we call love. Love has, does, and will always change the course of human stories and human history. What is very clear to me is the connection between love and loss, between love and grief, between love and tears.
Jesus loved and Jesus wept. I have sat with hundreds of people mired in the most painful grief imaginable. Women or men who have experienced a broken marriage, seeing the dreams and good intentions of promises made now shattered like the glass shards of a beautiful vase that will never hold the flowers of Valentine’s Day again. Children who have lost their parents, parents who must bury their children, and families left broken by suicide.
This love, this amazing mysterious power, leaves us most vulnerable. We are laid bare by love; we are defenseless, like Jesus, unable to escape our humanity and the perils of loving deeply. Like Jesus, we find ourselves shedding the exuberant tears of human intimacy and weeping at the graveside of lost dreams. The connection between love and tears is undebatable. The loss that is to come is inevitable. It is not a question of “if” but “when.”
God is love. We love because God loved us and created us in love. We cannot lose or escape God’s love; it cannot be destroyed or defeated.
And so, Valentine’s Day approaches once again, and we are reminded that love is patient and kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant, love is hopeful, and love never ends.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Rest secure knowing that you are loved always by God.
My love to you,