Love Is the Journey

The Bible is first and foremost a love story.  God loved creation.  He blessed the first marriage in history.  He was more than a match maker; He was the match creator!  He also blessed the bonds of friendship, and recognized Abraham as His friend.  When Jesus wept over Lazarus, the Jews saw the Lord’s deep love for His friend.  In his letters John the apostle instructs us about love, not that we loved God, but God loved us and sent Jesus to be our atonement (1 John 4:10).  The love story continues through the closing of the book of Revelation as the Spirit and the Bride invite all to take the water of life.

With the theme of love running as a continuous thread from cover to cover in the world’s all time number one best seller, it should come as no surprise that Jesus performed his first recorded miracle at the wedding in Cana.  It was a celebration of love.  We never learn who was being married, nor does it matter.  God is love.  God blesses us in love, and God blesses us through love.

O Perfect Love was written as a wedding hymn by Dorothy B. Gurney especially to fit her sister’s favorite hymn tune.  A short time later the words came to the attention of the royal family.  It was sung in the 1889 royal wedding of Princess Louise and the Duke of Fife, using a tune specially commissioned for the occasion.

Pray these words of love as you continue your pilgrim journey.

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou forevermore dost join in one.

Perfect love certainly does transcend human thought, and it is God’s perfect, transcendent love that we seek on our journey.  Know that God loves you perfectly.  Seek to love Him perfectly, and to be a reflection of God’s perfect love for everyone you see today.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Celebration of Love, day 39 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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Path of Enduring Grace

Some people say that the only thing that is constant is change.  It is not a new idea.  It can be traced back at least as far as ancient Greece.  Perhaps it is ironic that the assertion of change remains constant.  Ironic or not, the validity of the assertion depends on your perspective.  For example, the earth is orbiting in a solar system that is rotating in a galaxy that is moving through space.  The movement is constant, but the motions themselves represent change.

Some things don’t change at all.  It is not a matter of perception.  They are absolutely constant.  The psalmist knew this very well.  God is eternal.  His mercy is everlasting.  His truth endures forever.  The 100th Psalm celebrates these truths.  It is a succinct and inspiring call to praise and worship because of God’s constant, eternal nature.  Its words have captured the hearts and minds of people across the millenia since they were first recorded, breaking through every barrier of language and culture.

The hymn All People That on Earth Do Dwell is an English setting of Psalm 100 by William Kethe.  Of the 25 psalms that Kethe prepared for the 1561 Anglo-Genevan Psalter, this remains the one which is most widely used.  It was paraphrased from a French setting of the Psalm, which had itself been prepared from Latin texts which were passed on after the psalm had been translated into Greek from Hebrew.  Consider God’s eternal nature in the closing stanza.

For why! the Lord our God is good;
his mercy is forever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure.

Our pilgrim journey leads to the foot of the cross, a symbol of Christ’s great sacrifice.  As you continue your journey today, remember God’s unfailing love for you.  Know that you are walking on a path of enduring grace.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Growing in Grace, day 38 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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