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Wednesday, March 25, 2020
My song is love unknown,
my Savior’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
O who am I
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh, and die?
“My Song Is Love Unknown” (v. 1) by Samuel Crossman
Hymn 209, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
This hymn is more than 350 years old, and it reflects the theology of “puritan” Christians about the Passion of Jesus. I always found the “passion” of Christ a difficult concept. Generally, the term passion originates from a Latin verb passus sum, or “to suffer, bear, endure” and from which the word patience comes.
This understanding—that Jesus was patient during the last phases of his ministry on earth—is helpful to me. But the song is even more helpful. To me, it speaks to Jesus’ love for us and how we, in turn, should love one another. His death on a cross was for us. As one who has faith in Christ as my power and authority, teacher, leader, source of inspiration—his death is for me. What matters is what I do with this love, this passion.
I rely on my faith when I work with others and serve men in the Cook County Jail. Jesus said, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:36) and in Hebrews 13, we are commanded to “remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” My song is love unknown, and I sing it to men in the Cook County Jail, along with all those suffering from mass incarceration. May God bless them as much as God blesses me.
Lord, just as you love us, help me to be patient and love those who are imprisoned or whom we seldom see. Amen.
Written by Maggie Shreve, Parish Associate for Jail Ministry
Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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