As we approach the beginning of a new year many preachers, teachers and hometown philosophers will no doubt say that this should remind us that all earthly things are perishing and passing away. I see it differently. To me the passing of the old and the beginning of the new are actually reminders of those things which are not perishing, that are not passing away. In fact, what is so wonderful about the passing years is not what they take away, but rather what they leave behind.
I believe that Paul would agree. He wasn’t amazed that prophets would fail or tongues would cease or even that knowledge would vanish from sight. The thing that stirred his soul was the truth that love would never fail. Thus, his amazing lesson to all is that love is everlasting.
You see, the things that flitter and flee don’t give us any assurance. Such security comes only from those things that are permanent. We feel this in our souls when we stand before the majestic mountains, not the flowing streams. Why? Because there is a greater sense of stability in the mountain than the stream.
So then, why is love the greatest? Because it is both the oldest, and at the same time youngest, thing in all of the world. It is endless, timeless, dateless and its unchanging nature should be on our mind and in our heart as we come to another new year. You see, the heart is one thing that the years roll over in vain. Everything else within you may tire and collapse. The speaker’s voice grows weak and thin. The singer’s voice becomes shrill. The businessman may lose his acumen. The politician may lose his predictive ability. The mind may become forgetful of the great riches it once discovered. But the heart – the heart – it blossoms in the dead of winter and flourishes even in the snow. It has no need of tongues because even when the voice is too weak to speak the soul can still sing. It has no need of prophecy because when sight can not see through the cloud, faith can still shout, “Oh grave, where is your victory?” It has no need of knowledge because when the laws of physics are forgotten, the rooms of the Father’s house are still seen by love.
So, don’t read from today’s faded leaf. You are still young at heart! Love is still as new and strong today as it was when Ruth replied, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you.” It was dawning that day and it dawns still today. Love stood on Ararat when all of life was young and didn’t see the flood, but the rainbow. It stood on Nebo when life was old and to this day looks out over the Promised Land. Its eyes are not dimmed and its strength still remains. Your new day will dawn at the end of years. Heaven and earth will pass away, but love will never fail.