2 million/year! Can you believe that? 2 million! That’s 2,000,000! We’re talking about weddings in the US. That’s 4 million people per year who, being in love, choose to spend the rest of their lives together. Many of these lovebirds include Scripture as part of their ceremony. In particular, this one: “Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, TPT. It is a sad commentary that the average year in the US sees approximately 800,000 divorces; that is, 1,600,000 people who, for various reasons, have either experienced or exhibited less than what was read at an altar before God and a crowd of witnesses at the ceremony that joined them together as husband and wife.

This love adventure among men and women often goes tragically afield if the abundance of sad love songs, tragic operas, novels, biographies, autobiographies, and films is a reliable reference. These works typically point to an absence of the qualities outlined in the above verses. And despite the betrayals, tears, anger and crushing failures, love is like a primal magnet commandeering lives as if by some original design. Little wonder, then, when Jesus showed up demonstrating genuine love, the people around him couldn’t grasp it. As a matter of fact, it was his love for them that, through the Jews’ blunt refusal to accept, saw him betrayed and cruelly murdered. But since his love conquered (and conquers still!) even the grave, he rose victorious, reigning now over his Kingdom of Love.

The arrival of a newborn baby, its helplessness, its sweetness, can soften even the hardest of hearts. Picturing Jesus newly born, cradled among ordinary farm animals in the still of night is a most achingly tender image. Picturing Jesus as John saw him in Revelation Chapter One, is totally other. And yet, as we’re seeing in these letters to the churches, He is the same Divine Lover of our souls, albeit now seen as the Pure, Conquering, Hero of our Hearts. Loving us still.

Looking forward to sharing love with everybody tomorrow at 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM.  PD

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