Passing from Death to Life
As we’ve explored the spirituality of happiness, we’ve covered many themes, but none is more powerful than the importance of our relationships.
1 John 3:14 expresses it well: “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another.”
As a reflection on this passage, I offer the words of Paul Tillich, a towering intellect and one of the most influential theologians of the past century. These words did not come in a theological tome, but in a short sermon based on this text.
“For love is stronger than death. Every death means parting, separation, isolation, opposition and not participation. So it is, too, with the death of nations, the end of generations, and the atrophy of souls. Our souls become poor and disintegrate insofar as we want to be alone, insofar as we bemoan our misfortunes, nurse our despair and enjoy our bitterness, and yet turn coldly away from the physical and spiritual need of others. Love overcomes separation and creates participation in which there is more than that which the individuals involved can bring to it. Love is the infinite which is given to the finite. Therefore we love in others, for we do not merely love others, but we love the Love that is in them and which is more than their or our love.”