You have captured my heart,
my treasure, my bride.
You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes,
with a single jewel of your necklace.
Your love delights me,
my treasure, my bride.
Your love is better than wine… – Song of Solomon, 4:9-10
This morning I had planned to write about the latest round of atrocities in the Middle East. I have a fairly helpful post in progress, but my thoughts on ISIS are going to have to wait at least until tomorrow, because today I have other, more life-affirming, things on my mind.
THE POWER OF FAITHFUL LOVE: In fact, what I’m going to share for today has the power and the potential to turn everything around, even the darkest of festering evil. I’d put the potency of life-charged love up against the strength of evil anytime. I’d stake everything on it. Love wins; every time, love wins.
I’d put the potency of life-charged love up against the strength of evil anytime. I’d stake everything on it.
There are many reasons I can say this with confidence, but one of the most compelling is my relationship with Rebekah (a journey of love, wrapped in faith, wrapped in faithful love) that began on this day in 1977. That’s right, today is the 38th anniversary of our first date.
I know, this is something Rebekah and I always celebrate. But this year I feel a keen awareness of the importance of making some public noise about the increasingly counter-cultural principle that this kind of committed, faithful, tenacious, Christ-centered relationship is not only possible, but it is one of the keystones to saving us all.
- We live in a world defined by broken promises – we can become a people who keep ours;
- We live in communities where long-term commitments seem to mean very little – the public example of faithful Christians can help restore good faith;
- We live in a culture where loyalty is no longer valued – we can all buck the trend and take a stand for real relationships;
- We worship in churches where high-profile promise-trashing sabotages God’s initiatives – the best testimony God’s people can offer in response, is to live together in love, and to follow Jesus regardless…
Here’s what I believe. The biggest threat to the church in the 21st Century is the failure of Christians to live together in love. And the biggest threat to our world also turns out to be the failure of Christians to live as eloquent testimonies to the transformational power of Christ’s simple command to live in love.
We like to point the finger at our favorite “sins de jour,” but that wasn’t the kind of response that interested the Master at all. “So now I am giving you a new commandment,” Jesus said; “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
Here at Maul-Hall, 38 years into our dating life, Rebekah and I are trying to take Jesus at his word. We intend to prove the Gospel of Love to the world!
– In love, and because of love – DEREK