Art, Poetry, Music, and Nature for the New Year
Saturday, January 23 2021
The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. Psalm 71:1
There are infinite names for God. In her book She Who Is Elizabeth Johnson curated names from scripture used to describe God, among them Potter, Fisherman, Bakerwoman, Teacher, Metal Worker, Homemaker, Roaring Lion, Hovering Mother Bird, Cloud, Rock, Source and Goal of All, Ground of Our Being, and Ultimate Mystery. Maybe you prefer more traditional names like The Living God, or more poetic names like Lord of Consolations, or simple names like Friend. Regardless, there is something beautiful about this hymn naming God the King of Love.
It draws from John chapter four, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” It holds onto the Gospel of John, in which Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love is at the core of our faith, and so God incarnate in Jesus Christ is the King of Love.
Listening to our combined virtual choir, you can see that love embodied. The choir is full of people who, in their everyday lives, love God and one another. Watching this late September Kenilworth Union masterpiece, you can see people you love and people who love you—and even if you don’t know any of them, they are people who are bound to you by the love of God. May The King of Love My Shepherd Is be a blessing for you today.
O King of Love, O Shepherd Divine, love us as we seek to love one another. Amen.
Sep. 20 The King of Love My Shepherd Is (Homecoming Sunday combined virtual choir)
The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul he leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house for ever.
The King of Love is mine forever.