LOVE = HAPPINESS?
Thousands of years ago the Greek playwriter Aristophanes wrote: ‘happiness for the human race lies in the successful pursuit of love’.
And I think his comment has stood the test of time hasn’t it? Just from our own experience we know love and happiness are closely linked.
Our lives orbit around the reality of love. Love of friends, love of family, love of girlfriends and boyfriends, of husbands and wives, our children.
Take away the people you love the most and life would be a lot more unhappy wouldn’t it? Without love in our lives somehow life is diminished.
HEARTACHE AND HEART DESIRES
But the heartache of it all is that we know no matter how long we love – it will end eventually. That’s the tragedy of death which eats away at everything we love – it is the ultimate pandemic.
But can love survive death? You might say no – but surely we desire to say yes!
JRR Tolkien in a famous essay on Fairytales – which you can read online – says that the desire to escape death and have a happy ending is a key component in the fantasy genre and way more popular than high literature because deep down it’s what we want.
In fact, it’s what we were created for.
MADE TO LOVE
Love is in our DNA. We were made to love and to be loved forever. That is our default mode. The way we were designed. And so every death is a bitter reminder of our separation from God’s loves and failure to love him.
That’s what the Christian faith in the shape of Jesus Christ seeks to remedy. A love relationship with God that lasts forever. Jesus came to breach the gap that death creates. Continue the happiness that death destroys.
Only a love in the God of life – in the God of love – can conquer the darkness of death. It’s a love that transcends death – it’s a love that we were meant to pursue.
So here’s a question – If this relationship with the God of love survives even death and brings with it real lasting happiness – wouldn’t you want to check it out?
For this is a love that is shaped by God’s love for us.
A LOVE THAT SAVES
At the end of the Marvel film Wonder Woman, Diana Prince realises a profound truth when she says: ‘Now I know only love can truly save the world’.
2000 years ago one Friday afternoon outside of Jerusalem – a naked bleeding body hung on a Roman cross. It was the truest expression of love ever seen, and in it – we see true love seeking to save the world. In it, we see just how much God loves us.
You might be searching in lots of places for happiness – but if you want real happiness that lasts forever, then Jesus is the key to a love that survives death.
 Quoted in Darrin McMahon, The Pursuit of Happiness: A History from the Greeks to the Present, p. 33.