Monday, June 28, 2010

2010 Conference Follow-up

During our worship time at KCWC 2010, we sang “The Love of God” by Frederick M. Lehman. Written in 1917, it’s one of the “old” songs that has experienced a comeback.

It begins: “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.” Right away, the writer reminds us that preachers and writers over the centuries have attempted to describe the love of God. But, total understanding of that love is really beyond human description because it can’t be measured or contained.

The refrain following each verse continues that thought:

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

But, for writers, the third verse brings it home.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Some of our writers might feel inadequate hearing this. They might think, “If it’s not possible to describe God’s love, why should we even try? There are so many people who can do a better job than me anyway.”

But, I see these words as encouraging. We can all contribute our words to the total picture. A jigsaw puzzle contains many pieces, each needed to reveal the whole image. Individual writers and preachers contribute their words to piece together a picture of God’s love for subsequent generations. Each piece is as unique as the person who contributed it. And, each piece is needed to make the picture complete.

So—writers, preachers, musicians—don’t be discouraged. Keep contributing to the body of work that attempts to describe the love of God.

Listen to "The Love of God" online here . See complete lyrics here

Note: In one of her keynote addresses, Virginia Smith mentioned that she will be teaching an online class entitled Introduction to Writing the Christian Novel. Details available here. Deadline to register is July 7, 2010.

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