Wednesday 10th February 2021

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Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King: His love endures forever.

For He is good, He is above all things. His love endures forever. Sing praise, sing praise.

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm, His love endures forever.

For the life that's been reborn. His love endures forever. Sing praise, sing praise. Sing praise, sing praise.

Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong. Forever God is with us. Forever.

From the rising to the setting sun, His love endures forever.

By the grace of God, we will carry on. His love endures forever.

Sing praise, sing praise. Sing praise, sing praise.

(Chris Tomlin © 2000 Kingsway Songs)

Read: Psalm 136: 1-9

Both the hymn writer and the psalmist are excited that ‘God’s love endures for ever.’ The on-line thesaurus offered stamina, durability and strength as alternatives to the word endurance, while ‘The Message’ paraphrases the refrain of this psalm as ‘God’s love never quits.’ What does the phrase ‘God’s enduring love’ mean to you?

The psalmist starts his poem by recognising the presence of God in the world around him, but then if we had continued to read the psalm, we find that in verses 10-22 he continues to praise God by remembering how he rescued and saved his ancestors by bringing them out of slavery in Egypt and leading them into become a great nation.

While this is the only psalm which gives us a repeating phrase at the end of each line, the basic format of this poem is similar to other psalms. It starts by praising God for what the writer can see of him as he looks around at the world he lives in, and then goes on to praise God for how he has helped and cared for him and others in the past.

This simple formula will work for each of us. Start by praising God for what you can see around you - for the room you are in, for the people in any photos you have on display, for what you can see out of the window and for what you have eaten or about to eat. Having praised God for what you can see around you, then praise him for how he has helped you or others in the past. Looking back can open our eyes to ways in which God has been there with you which we didn’t recognise at the time.

The writer of Psalm 136 is sure that God’s love endures for ever, and recognises that God rescues and saves, as well as acknowledging that God performs signs and wonders on the earth. These are characteristics (attributes is the theological word) of who God is and they are given to us again in our covenant verses for this year:

For he is the living God and he endures for ever;

His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves;

He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.

Daniel 6: 26b-27a (NIVUK)

How does your own experience of God and knowledge of what God has done for others reinforces the truths given to us in our Covenant verses? Could you write your own poem about how God’s love endures for ever?

Use these lyrics to lead you into prayers of praise and thanks

Let us, with a gladsome mind, praise the Lord, for He is kind.

For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.

He with all-commanding might filled the new-made world with light.

For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.

He created sky and sea, field and mountain, flower and tree

For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.

Let us blaze His name abroad, for of gods He is the God.

For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.

(John Milton 1608-74 / Michael Saward © Jubilate Hymns)

 


Page last updated: 10th February 2021 7:24 PM