Love is as strong as death.

Song of Solomon 8: 6b

 

In the contemplation of death lies some of the greatest fears and concerns that people encounter. This is so as death brings us to the boundary of all that we understand and causes us to look intently into a beyond that is the frontier of faith. There is no other aspect of this life that takes us quite so far out of the realm of experience as does death. It also forces us to consider all that we would have desired to accomplish and who we want to be in the light of what we have actually done and how we are living. Also, God has woven into us a great desire to live that is the spark behind much of the will to fight that propels us forward through the conflicts and the trials that come our way.

 

Yet, it is Christ who brings understanding to this great mystery. It is God’s love that brought Jesus into this world so that the Father’s demand for absolute holiness would be answered and so that the death that sin requires would be absolved. With Christ in me the trepidation of this look forward is resolved into a contemplation of moving from one aspect of the continual presence of absolute love to an infinitely greater one. In this world the glory of Christ is present, but in the next, the glory of God is the expression of everything!

 

Still, in this world, the grim reaper wields his scythe daily and death remains a constantly unyielding companion; so, it is normal to consider our own mortality and that of those that we care about. It is here in this contemplation that love seems to speak most loudly and with a voice that is clear above and beyond the noise of doubt, fear, and pain. It is love that broke through the seemingly impenetrable darkness of evil, and it is the pure love of Christ that has defeated Satan’s illusion of control over life. Love holds us close when the grief of loss fills our hearts, and love illuminates the journey and eases our need to hold onto this world when the death in question is our own.