In the United States, June is the month of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. June is also one of the most popular months for weddings. School is out, travel plans can be more flexible, and the warmth and beauty of this time of year make for a remarkable backdrop for the occasion.
Weddings, of course, are about love. They are also about family and friends, but, first and foremost, they should be about the love of the couple exchanging their vows. Every bride wants her husband’s love to be an always and forever love, and every husband wants nothing less from his bride and for his bride.
Sadly, far too many marriages do not last. This was never God’s plan, but it does happen. “Always” can become “for a time,” and “forever” can become “for now.” The pain is real, and the consequences, especially when children are involved, can be devastating.
This is the difference – the real and undeniable difference – between human love and God’s love. Even the best and most sincere forms of human love cannot last in this fallen world, because death inevitably steps in to close a door between the couple. For believers, heaven can reunite them, but, for some period of time, love must be lived separately and alone.
But God’s love is different. It is unshakable, unconditional, and undying. In short, God’s love is always and forever.
As Christians, we have celebrated several glorious events in salvation history during the past seven weeks. First came the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, then His resurrection, then the forty days He spent with His disciples after His resurrection, then His ascension back to the right hand of God the Father, and then the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (fifty days after the Resurrection).
All these events have two things in common: they are about God, and they are about His love for us.
The ascension of Jesus could have been a sad and somber occasion. Jesus was leaving this earth, returning home to heaven. His followers would be alone. They had never been without their Savior in physical form for more than three days.
What did Jesus say to give them courage and strength? What words did He offer to fill them with hope and confidence?
“I am with you always,” said the Son of God, “even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20, KJV)
Even to the end of the world.
A love that is unshakable, unconditional, and undying.
A Savior who is ever present and ever faithful.
Because of Jesus, we need not fear. We need not worry. We need not doubt.
He is alive, and He is with us always!
-- Dr. John Morris