The first musical play I attend is ‘Carousel’, starring a teenager named Liza Minelli, performing at the historic Papermill Playhouse in my hometown of Millburn, New Jersey. The popular song in ‘Carousel’ is ‘Love Makes the World Go Round’. A catchy tune with memorable words. Love, at the very heart of this world, makes it go round-and-round.
Reading Psalm 136, I discover love’s source. Who makes it happen. Love, not only keeps the world spinning on its rotation and axis, but permeates the very air we breathe. Rather than sing Carousel’s hit song, let’s delve deeper into the heart of God’s love, found in this psalm. With me?
Immediately you’ll notice a refrain, repeated at the end of each verse. Twenty-six times this phrase is sung by God’s people–‘His love endures forever’. Every verse reminds us of God’s love. Hard to forget when it’s said over-and-over again. Love makes this psalm go round!
Not love on its own. It’s His love that’s celebrated. God’s love. Disconnected from the Lord, at best you get a lesser form of affection. A liking that rarely lasts for long.
But love, fused to God, clamped tightly to Him, embraces an eternal quality. It comes from One who has no beginning and no end. Therefore, ‘His love endures forever.’ An unbroken circle.
The Hebrew word ‘chesed’ (‘love’) is hard to translate into English. Lots of synonyms come to mind. Like faithfulness and kindness. Covenant relationship and promise. Commitment and loyal love. ‘Chesed’ reaches to God’s highest goodness, though that’s merely the outer reaches of His love’s fullness. And even that’s only the beginning!
‘His love endures…’ Even puts up with the likes of me…and you! Now, that’s something! His loving care outlasts our sin and shame. When we get on our knees before Jesus, He never throws salt in our wounds. Never keeps nagging us about our faults. After all, He forgives AND forgets. Something I’ve experienced in no one else, including and especially me.
‘His love endures forever.’ How long? Forever. That’s a long time. As in never running out. No final straw that breaks His camel’s back. No. Forever and ever…and beyond!
This Valentine’s Day week, let’s celebrate God’s love that created the world, rotating it round-and-round on its axis, running through every bit and morsel of our daily lives. Yes! ‘His love endures forever’!
Lord, thank you for your love which lasts forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.