The late Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Love is the most durable power in the world.” Love is “durable” you say? In our world today, love can often seem like a fragile thing. Couples break up, marriages end in divorce, friends fall out, church members leave, and family members no longer speak. An acquaintance of mine who works in the office that processes divorce filings in Houston says they are busier than ever -- one can only assume due to the stresses the pandemic and political unrest have layered onto marriages. More than ever, we long for a love that endures.
The Apostle Paul however, tells us that love, however, “never ends” (1 Cor 13:8). True love cannot possibly end because we know that God is love (1 Jn 4:8,16), and we also know that God is eternal. Think about these truths for a moment: God is love. God is eternal. If we believe these statements to be true -- if God is love -- then by the mathematical law of inverse operations, that means that love is God, and if God is also eternal, then love too must be eternal.
But what kind of wondrous love is this, that endures eternally? What love is this, that in King’s words is the “only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend,” of “driving out hate,” and “the very key to the problems of the world?”
This is the love that is God. It is not the kind of love that is a sweet, syrupy sentiment. This love is not a fuzzy feeling. It is not something you just “fall into.” True, divine love is something you choose. It is something you do. It is a strong, active verb. It is the hard work of deep listening, forgiving, showing up, speaking truth, giving, serving, thanking, apologizing, appreciating, letting go, sacrificing, and caring. This love is the very heartbeat of Creation.
And this love is the only path to real joy, yet is also the surest path to grief. So many of you, dearly beloved, are feeling grief right now. You grieve because you have loved someone or something you’ve lost. I know your hearts can’t seem to hold any more right now. If you’re like me, you may feel like you don’t have the heart to do a whole lot more loving right now.
So beginning this Sunday and for next 5 weeks, in our worship series “Love Does,” we will envelop ourselves in the active and divine love of God. Because what has the power to bind up our broken hearts? Love does. What has the ability to bring enemies together? Love does. What has the answers we need to the world’s problems? Love does.