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This morning I woke up realizing that it was Wednesday all of a sudden and that I hadn’t scheduled my blog for this morning. Not only had I not scheduled it, I had not written it. Why? Because when you’re sick, you can forget about some things that are otherwise important to you. And when you’re really sick, the things that are really important tend to take priority over the things that you believe are important but in reality they are not as important as you may think you believe.

Life is short. The older we get, the more we realize just how short life it. This was brought home to me again this week when I received a lovely Christmas letter from friends who are transitioning to a long-term care facility. Their self-awareness and acceptance of their own mortality is more balanced than mine. I can continue to learn a lot from this dear couple whom I have come to know and love both as mentors and as friends.

With my friends transitioning and my own head-on collision with the brevity of life, I have discovered something about love which is the focus of the fourth week of advent.

Love is stronger than death.

That may seem like a very simple and obvious statement. But thinking deeply about love makes me realize a profound truth. Love transcends the graveside. Love overshadows death. Love laughs at the reality of mortality because love knows there is more.

Maybe that is why the Bible says if I don’t have love I might just as well be clanging brass or crashing cymbal. Without love, I’m just a bunch of noise.

Maybe that is why at this time of the year, the song that often replays in my mind is one I learned so many years ago as a teenager in Bible college. Written by one of the twentieth century’s great theologians, John F. Walvoord. The song, called Love Was When, says:

Love was when God became a Man. Locked in time and space Without rank or place.

There is the incarnation, that great humbling of the Infinite. Then Walvoord goes on to say:

Love was God nailed to bleed and die To reach and love one such as I.

I can still see our choir director, Chuck Mealy, directing us into a crescendo of the message of why God, in Jesus, bled and died. One purpose - to reach and love one such as I.

There is no chaotic noise in love. Just the crescendo of Father God, reaching to his lost creation. “Love was God, only he would try to reach and love one such as I,” says the writer.

Deity died, so we could live. Deity rose, so we could live forever.

Now the chaotic noise of mortality submits to the heavenly crescendo of immortality because love is stronger than death.

Merry Christmas!

Celebrate Love!

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