Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. —Psalm 136:2
By the time our son Harrison was born, my wife, Kellie, and I were the proud parents of a beautiful and healthy little girl named Isabella. With all the love that I felt for my daughter, I was worried about how it was possible to love anyone else with the same unconstrained, complete giving-over of one’s self to another. I mean—that’s a lot to give!
We live in a world of limits. A finite world. We are taught in science that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. In economics, we know of zerosum games. We live among vast income inequalities: the “haves” and “have-nots.”
So how is it possible to have enough love for two, or three, or four?
The day came, and Harrison entered the world. I discovered immediately that, despite my fears, upon laying eyes on him, a wellspring of love as strong as I’d ever felt burst forth. I knew at that moment there was enough. I realize now that love is limitless. And for something to be limitless, it not only has to be never-ending in the moment, it has to be never-ending over time. It has to be eternal.
The sermon series this past Advent visited the homes of the gospel writers and examined their different versions of the birth narrative. It was a powerful lesson of God’s love for the world, and a reminder that we each have our own versions of experiencing the same God. For me it recalled the moment I held a tiny baby and began a journey toward two realities: God is love, and God’s love endures forever.
Dear God, we too often get distracted by the rules we set for ourselves and each other, and we overlook your constant presence in our lives. We pray for the awareness to find your abundant love in the places, faces and spaces of our everyday, so that we can be reminded to give you thanks and strive to make earth a little more like heaven. Amen.
Al Picallo is a Trustee of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.