Last week I wrote about love. I joined the chorus of preachers and teachers and leaders that proclaim the need for, and the power of, love. Love wins. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." He also said, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Yes ... love. Love is the greatest power in the universe. It does win. It will win. But ... love is hard.
Singer, songwriter James Morrison (not Jim Morrison of The Doors) wrote a song with that title, "Love is Hard." The lyrics of the chorus are:
"And it kicks so hard, breaks your bones. Cuts so deep it hits your soul, tears your skin and makes your blood flow. It's better that you know that love is hard."
He wrote the song for his daughter to prepare he for the challenges of life.
It is hard. Our hearts get broken when we love. We miss those that we love when they leave us. Love exposes us to pain when when we are betrayed. But Jesus calls us to love. Over and over again he tells us to love God and to love one another. He even goes so far as to say that we should love our enemies! That is easy for you to say Jesus. You are Jesus! You are the embodiment of the pure love of God. We, on the other hand, are mere mortals. We are flesh and bones and a whole lot of conflicting emotions, and hate is in that mix.
Hate is so much easier. We do not even have to think about hate, or try. It seems to come naturally to us. How many times have you been brought up short by the thought or feeling, "Oh I hate that person!!" It comes up so quickly. Hate is easy.
Love is hard. Part of loving is resisting the hate that resides within us. Another part of loving is responding to the hate in the world. We must be willing to do the work.
James Morrison concludes the song to his daughter with these words, "Love is hard, love is hard. If it was easy, it wouldn't mean nothing."
We take easy things for granted. We reap a greater reward for those things for which we have to work. Yes, love is hard. But it is the most beautiful that there is.
This week in worship, we will explore that verse from Jesus, his admonition to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48) Our Sunday school lesson will be, "Showing Love." We will have a few members of the choir to help lead the hymns, and our virtual choir has something special planned for us.
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072