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Vol. 78 - No. 7
JULY 2007

WORD FROM THE PASTOR:             

Heard It in a Love Song
            Many years ago, while listening to a Bing Crosby album, I had a sudden insight. Der Bingle
was singing these words:
            I canít begin to tell you how much you mean to me...
...
and it suddenly dawned on me: He could be talking about God! It was a love song, talking about
his feelings toward a girlfriend, but it could have been you or me talking about God. Because we
believers really canít fully express how much God means to us!
            Since that moment of insight, Iíve always been on the lookout for songs that could be both
 about loving another person and about loving God. The best known of such songs is, of course, in
the Bible: the "song of songs", the Song of Solomon. On the surface, this Biblical bookĖwhich
doesnít even mention God once!Ėseems to be about love between a man and a woman. But on a
deeper level, itís about the relationship between Christ and His church (if you have an old edition
of the King James Version, you may find that the chapter headings bring this out). Or it could be
about the relationship between the soul and God. A verse that I sometimes use at funerals goes:
            Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. For the winter is past, and the rain is
            over and gone. The flowers are springing up, and the time of singing birds has come
            even the cooing of turtledoves...Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. (2:10-11)

This could be a young man talking to his girlfriend. But it could also be God talking to the soul!
The Bible often compares Godís love for His people with the love between husband and wife.
            A few years back, I was listening to a country radio station and heard a song by T.G.
Sheppard called "Finally". The song was about finally coming to realize how deeply bonded you
are with your beloved:
            When finally, I look into your eyes and see reflections of yourself in me
            The way you always said it would be.

Again, I thought: Wow, that could be about me and God! (It was only later that I discovered that
it originally was about "me and God"! T. G. Sheppard took what was originally a Christian song
and recorded it as a love song!)
            So whenever I hear a love song, I think: Could this song tell me something about my
relationship with God?
            Recently, I heard on the radio a song called "The Reason" that almost left me in tears.The
group performing the song had the unlikely name of Hoobastank, which unfortunately makes me
think of guys riding in railroad boxcars who havenít bathed in a couple of weeks. But despite their
ghastly name, they crafted a moving song that expresses exactly how we feel when we disappoint
our beloved...and how we feel when we disappoint God. Some of the lyrics include:
            Iím not a perfect person, thereís many things I wish I didnít do...I never mean to do
            those things to you...Iím sorry that I hurt you.

And then the chorus goes:
            Iíve found a reason for me
            To change what I used to be
            A reason to start over new
            And the reason is you.

A beautiful song about learning from our mistakes...about regret over hurting a loved one...and about
finding the motivation to do better. Thatís a big part of any love relationshipĖincluding our
relationship with God! God is our reason for wanting to be better. "You make me want to be a
better person," Jack Nicholson tells his beloved in As Good as It Gets. And thatís precisely how I
feel about God. Godís love makes me want to be a better person. God is the "reason" I want to live
a life of integrity and love. I donít want to disappoint Him, I donít want to let Him down. Heís
shown me the greatness of His love in Christ:
            God shows His own love to us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died
            for us. (Romans 5:8 )

Love that great gives me a reason for wanting to "change what I used to be, a reason to start over
 new."
            Listen to love songs. Every once in awhile, you may hear one that enriches your relationship
with Christ. The Bible tells us that He is the bridegroom, and we, the church, are His bride
(Ephesians 5:25, Revelation 19:7-8). So insights we get about human love can enrich our
understanding of the great love that binds us to Jesus the Saviour.
            God loves you and so do I!

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