A Devotion for 5 November 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1Jn 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17 (KJV)
Ro 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28-39 (KJV)
Today’s hymn is often chosen as a wedding hymn, and rightly so. For those who are invited to the Marriage supper of the Lamb, and who have donned the proper wedding garments, it is an altogether fitting hymn of prophetic comfort.
The author of the lyrics for this hymn, Dorothy Bloomfield, composed the hymn for her sisters wedding and in only fifteen minutes. The tune to which it is sung today was composed by Joseph Barnby in 1898 for the marriage ceremony of the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. So both the lyrics, and the music, were intended to venerate the Holy estate of Matrimony.
O PERFECT LOVE
O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou forevermore dost join in one.
O perfect Life, be thou their full assurance,
of tender charity and steadfast faith,
of patient hope and quiet, brave endurance,
with childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.
Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
that dawns upon eternal love and life.
O perfect Love, all human thought transcending, lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne, that theirs may be the love which knows no ending, whom thou forevermore dost join in one. There is one resource that mankind can own that is divine – LOVE! There is no love apart from God. Love comes down from God the Maker and Author of Love as an effulgent Fountain overflowing. Actually, all love is perfect in nature; however, love is often diluted and comingled with contrary emotions in the human heart. We may love, but with reservations that limit loves measure of effect. Pure and unconditional love is that of God. He dispenses love into the hearts of mankind in portions based on His will and foreordination. Perfect love vanquishes evil inclinations and responds as an echo to the Maker of Love. God is like a Great Magnet. When we have been in close and regular contact in following Him, our own souls become magnetized and assume the nature of that Great Magnet, though to a lesser degree. Perfect love for God will also result in perfect love for His creatures. Love makes us ONE with the Father and all believers.
O perfect Life, be thou their full assurance, of tender charity and steadfast faith, of patient hope and quiet, brave endurance, with childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death. We know that in the perfection of the saints there must exist these three compelling qualities – Faith, Hope, and Love. But we all know, also, that the greatest of these is LOVE! Abundance of Love will ensure the other two are refined and present. In fact, in the summary of the Law, our Lord Jesus Christ made LOVE the one common virtue that makes obedience to the Commandments of God possible. “Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39 (KJV) When full of fear, the child runs to his father’s side. If we depart not from our Heavenly Father’s side, we have no need of fear or dismay. But, as sterling silver – unlike silver plate – always retains its nature, so must the Christian endure to the end in love and service. The more regular the use, the more sterling silver shows its brightness. The same is true for the Christian daily reflecting the love of God in his life.
Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow; grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife, and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow that dawns upon eternal love and life. The joy emanating from Perfect Love will not only brighten earthly sorrows, but dispel them. The love of god is eternal, and all who possess it in full measure will do so in eternity future. Remember: there is only one thing known to man that we can possess in this life and carry into the next – that is, LOVE! “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That, my friends, is a most comforting promise! Peace is born of such a sure knowledge of the love of God that we fear no evil whatsoever knowing that our sovereign Lord oversees every event of our lives and rules all things to work to our advantage.
I leave you with this one endearing truth:
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 (KJV)