‘There is love. And love never fails.’
April 17, 2022
In the spring of 2019, I wrote about a sermon on faith and mental health that Michael Gerson delivered at Washington National Cathedral. Just weeks removed from having been hospitalized for depression, the Washington Post columnist and former aide and speechwriter to President George W. Bush, spoke eloquently about the depths he had plumbed and about “the experience of transcendence we cannot explain, or explain away.”
Gerson confessed a desire to live a more disciplined and mature Christian life, his failure to do so, and the persistence of doubt. “Faith, thankfully, does not preclude doubt,” he said. “It consists of staking your life on the rumor of grace.”
“When strength fails, there is perseverance. And when perseverance fails, there is hope. And when hope fails, there is love. And love never fails.”
“Many, understandably, pray for a strength they do not possess,” Gerson said near the close of the sermon. “But God’s promise is somewhat different: That even when strength fails, there is perseverance. And when perseverance fails, there is hope. And even when hope fails, there is love. And love never fails.”
The events of Holy Week—from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through his betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, death, and resurrection—are a reminder of the reality of which Gerson spoke. As war rages in Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic persists, our strength and perseverance may fail, and our hope may falter. But as we behold the cross and the empty tomb, we are reminded there is love and love never fails.