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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Love caused your incarnation;
love brought you down to me;
your thirst for my salvation
procured my liberty.
O love beyond all telling,
that led you to embrace
in love, all loves excelling,
our lost and fallen race.
You come, O Lord, with gladness,
in mercy and goodwill,
to bring an end to sadness
and bid our fears be still.
In patient expectation
we live for that great day
when your renewed creation
your glory shall display.
Paul Gerhardt’s “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You”
(tune: Vallet Will Ich Dir Geben)
trans. Catherine Winkworth et. al.
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
How do you write a devotion about love? Our love for God. His love for us. It’s too big and universal. Too intimate and personal. Too much talked about and explained and illumined by far greater intellects than mine. Let’s take it down a notch—to our love for each other. How do I experience love in the people and the world around me? Maybe I can tackle that.
How do I feel about love? Awed. Awed by the expressions of love I’ve seen recently from new babies born and loved hard by their parents, awed by beautiful women cut down in the prime of life and loved hard by those left behind. Uplifted. Uplifted by the daily expressions of love in the halls and rooms and spaces of our Fourth Presbyterian Church campus as we welcome with respect and kindness our brothers and sisters from all walks of life and all nationalities and all families. Humbled. Humbled by the love my husband sends my way in occasional unexpected deliveries of flowers and the everyday “I love you” from across the sofa.
Can I translate these expressions and experiences of love into an understanding of God’s love? God loves us unconditionally, no matter what we do or what we bring to the party, in ways big and small. God loves us. And, because he loves us so well, how can we not love God?
Dear God, help me to see the love around me with new eyes and realize it all starts with you. Amen.
Written by Jean Marie Koon, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
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