LISTEN TO: Chris Tomin, "Our God"
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love never ends. Or, some translations say, "Love never fails." The root word here is "fail," to suffer collapse or ruin. This doesn't happen with Love. Love doesn't collapse. Love isn't ruined. Love doesn't look at the dire circumstances of our world and give up. Love continues to exist even when our dear one takes a last breath. Love doesn't whither in the face of defeat, rejection or when we make grave mistakes that change the course of our life. Love is eternal. It has existed before we were born, and will continue to exist when we cease to be a memory. We see all the injustice in the world and are tempted to despair or grow cynical. Love sees the injustice, but will resolutely pour itself out, on anyone who will listen and respond, will never rest, never give up until its purposes are achieved.
Love is God -- God is Love (1, John 4:8). Our faith is based on this fact. Eternal love took on human temporal flesh in Jesus. By following Jesus, we are stretched to love with this divine, eternal agape love, to allow this eternal power of Love resonate in our lives. Step by step, we do this, as we stay rooted in presence of God through prayer, scripture, and service. We may fail, but God's spirit in us won't let us give up. Love never ends.
This week, Holy Week, is an important time to reflect on the power of love -- and remember that love never fails. Even on the Cross as Jesus cries out "It is finished" (John 19:13) he is not talking about love being done, or the world coming to an end. This is a word that means "paid in full." Love stepped in and paid the price for sin. That is what love does. Love was betrayed(Luke 22;48), abandoned (Matt. 27: 45,46), denied (Mark 14:66-72), tortured (John 19:1-3) before dying on the cross (Matt.27:50) Evil threw everything at Jesus. Jesus did not fail us. That debt we incurred, caused by sin and brokenness, no longer exists when we turn to Jesus and place our trust in him. So let us meditate on the power of love this Holy Week, turn to Jesus during Eastertide, so we may be molded to act in his ways of unending, never-failing love.
Have a blessed Holy Week.
PRAY: "Lord of never-failing love, help us be vessels of your Eternal, loving presence in how we choose to act. Teach us how we don't have to give up or give in --- but rely on your Power to Love. "