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How Deep is Your Love

By Timothy W. Tron

Burke CountyTim Tron Burke County

Going through the Christmas season, we often hear the story of Mary and Joseph and the unexpected, supernatural revelation of Mary being with a child. Joseph received the news with much agitation and angst.
Therein lies the rub.
If we would look at this predicament through modern Western eyes, Joseph could have easily sung this seventies Bee Gees song, “How Deep is Your Love,” to Mary upon receiving this debilitating news.
And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love, then you softly leave
And it’s me you need to show
How deep is your love?

How deep is your love? How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn.
’Cause we’re livin’ in a world of fools.
Breakin’ us down.
When they all should let us be.
We belong to you and me.

In February, it’s not hard to find aisles of romantic Valentine’s Day cards with thought-provoking, heart-wrenching passages meant for that particular someone in your life. Yet, as with many young relationships, the themes in these cards are often extremely idolatrous in their nature, focusing on the love of Eros – making the object of your love your god. Time after time, on a college campus, the scene plays out, many times regardless of the person’s faith, when they fall in love with that special someone. If they are a believer or not, they supplant their relationship with God with that of their beloved. Then, sadly, when something doesn’t work, that perceived soulmate cheats on them, or their personalities beyond the physical embrace are just not compatible, their world comes crashing down. Break-ups are painful and traumatic. The once “perfect couple” now have nothing to lean on, having replaced their faith, if they ever had one at all, with this new Eros love.

Yet, Joseph’s love for Mary was much deeper than the superficial collegiate type of relationship. It was such that when Mary shared how the Holy Ghost had planted the Son of God in her womb, Joseph knew he had at least two options. The first was to believe her story, no matter how improbable and unbelievable, to dispel all disbelief. The prophets had spoken of this day. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Should he doubt the voice of the prophets in the face of debilitating public shame? Was this child to become the coming Messiah, or was this some bastard child that he would be raising? He loved Mary more than anyone could know, but this news made him sad, angry, and confused all at the same time.
But these were just her words at this point – her side of the story and nothing else.
Then there was the question of Mary’s fidelity, which begged the second option: should he put her behind him as quickly as possible? This was the grievous, dark side – how could she cheat on him, his beloved to whom he was willing to be betrothed? Could she really do this? He had known this girl for most of his life. This was unlike anything the Mary he knew would ever do, yet it had been done, so she claimed. Was she possibly raped? Was she delusional? Did she not want to reveal the identity of the perpetrator because he was a friend or family member?
Fraught by the decision that his culture’s legal system required, Joseph prepared to put Mary away privately, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.” His love, now deemed unclean, would be lost, cast into the dregs of society. His heart was heavy with the grief of this news.
A little over thirty-three years later, the same anxieties and angst would play out, but in an even more seemingly exacerbating scenario, with the same being at its center.
Their leader had been put to death in one of the most shameful judicious acts: one created to humiliate and disgrace the direst of criminals, being crucified on the cross. Now, his body lay in a tomb. This wasn’t supposed to be. Like Joseph, at that moment, the disciples only knew one side of the story. Their fear overwhelmed their understanding, driving them to act instinctually. Undoubtedly, the ones who had brought forth this case against Jesus would soon be after them, too. From the womb to the tomb, Jesus’ arrival was wrought with nearly as much dread as was his going.
Yet, their fears were soon dashed when the risen Christ appeared to them. For this reason, they finally realized that they had been in the presence of God for the entirety of their ministry. They would not only be emboldened to share the story but would give their lives in exchange. Jesus’ disciples would be martyred for sharing the gospel. They were willing to face certain death because, once the risen Christ was known, their minds finally made the connection to the prophecies and Jesus’ own teaching – the one true God came to earth to die for all so that all might live.
The angel of the Lord would come to visit Joseph, saying, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” From that point forward, Joseph would decide to forgo the shame of his day, choosing to serve God instead of man, ignoring the legalities and providing Mary, the husband she deserved for a Son that was not of her doing. She and Joseph had been entrusted with one of the most precious gifts any human being could ever know – the Savior of the world.
Today, many face a similar emotional dilemma that Joseph faced. However, the birth of a child is not the looming prospect, but rather, their salvation – the ability to believe in a risen Savior. In a sense, their potential to be born again into a new life is at stake. To accept the story of a man who claimed to be God, being put to death by crucifixion, and then rising three days later is, for some, a stretch, if not impossible. The world belittles those who blindly receive this as truth. Their arguments are many. It seems that sometimes, the more educated a person becomes, the less of those things that are outside of the natural law are perceptible, let alone believable. Those who choose not to believe become bound by chains of science to the point they argue against anything outside its realms as improbable. The world’s legalistic viewpoint overwhelms their spiritual longing to understand something beyond what the world allows. To go beyond reason and to accept the supernatural is an act of faith. Those who refuse to believe anything beyond reason hold to a faith limited by their ability to understand. Their bondage of logic becomes their faith, or the lack thereof. They spend their lives seeking a deeper understanding of a love that eludes their preconceived concepts.
Like Joseph, some avoid confrontation by quietly dismissing claims that go against the world’s belief (or lack thereof) system, accepting their fate without argument. Yet, some receive inspiration, whether from dreams or reading scripture, through which the Holy Spirit speaks to them. They find that there is more to the world than what they have been told – a more profound love. There is essentially another dimension to which we cannot fathom beyond the natural laws. When someone is faced with this news, these revelations, they become emboldened, disregarding that implausibility the world places upon anything outside of its logic, and accept that there is the possibility of life beyond this one. There is a reason to listen to the teachings of Jesus, and there is a source of morality beyond the relativistic options given by today’s Western Cultures.
The Gospels’ story, the good news of salvation, becomes an option to choose, not to belittle. Therein lies the hope of life eternal. Like those disciples in the upper room, like Joseph and Mary, once they received the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, their lives would be forever changed. They made a choice that went against logic, against the beliefs of the world. There was no turning back.
We have the same option today – to choose to believe in the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ, or not. To know him is to know true love, Agape. To love unconditionally is to be as Christ. We all have choices in this life that will affect us for all eternity.
Then the real question becomes, “How deep is your love?”
Hopefully, you too, will see that there is more to this world than meets the eye. Superficial romance, making that special someone into a god, never ends well. Superseding God’s love with fleshly desire makes a mockery of His love for us. Accept Christ into your life and discover what true love can be and, ultimately, how deep your love can become.
May this season of love find you seeking a relationship that is not built upon the world’s carnality but rather something far greater, far deeper – the love of Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.


Timothy W. Tron lives in Collettsville, NC. with his family. He is currently the Systems Administrator for the Computer Science Department at App. State. Timothy is the former Director of the Trail of Faith in Valdese, where he still volunteers and helps with tours. He is the author of a new Christian series, “Children of the Light”, with the first book being, “Bruecke to Heaven”, revised as “Bridge to Heaven”, and his recent book, being the second, “The Light in the Darkness”. He is an active blogger, artist, and musician. Timothy also has a BSEE from UF, and is a Lay Speaker. He is currently acting as the Faculty/Staff Liaison for the Ratio Christi campus ministry at App. State. He can be reached at  You can visit his website at // or see more of his writings HERE