Wooden cross in the Good Shepherd Chapel



His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Lent 2018

A Psalm for giving thanks

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Mom was working on a family genealogy project. She was hoping to capture the stories of the lives of the people who make up our family history into a nice book. Something to pass on to all the kids. One day as mom was regaling me with details of the “stalwarts” of the family tree, she dashed past a few names—limbs she was apparently pruning off. “So mom, what’s the deal with Joe in Fenton Park? You kind of glossed past his name.” “Oh him,” (mom is very good at voice inflections that indicate black sheep status), “we don’t really need to go into it.” Was he a drinker, a philanderer, did Joe spend time in jail, desert his military unit? Was he missing a limb or a few marbles? “It was a hundred years ago mom… sounds like a great story to share over dinner one night with the family.” But apparently, according to mom, not so much.

What does it mean to steadfastly love, to endure, to be faithful, even to all generations? God knows. Just think about the stories of the lives of the people in Jesus’ family tree. Abraham, for starters, pimped out his wife… twice… and lied to two kings to make money. Jacob: well his name means deceiver, and he lived up to it. Rahab was a prostitute, Ruth was from Moab—do you remember how the nation of Moab came to be? And when you consider God’s whole messy family tree, including Adam and Eve, whiney Israelites in the desert, twelve thick-headed disciples, and the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners (just to mention a few), it’s a wonder God wanted any of these people.

Oh, and then there’s you and me and the other embarrassing ancestors and relatives, and the stories of our lives all tangled together building the history of God’s people, branch by branch, limb by limb. We are family… God’s family. “It is [God] who made us; and we are his.” Because of Christ, he will not gloss past our story or prune us away—for His love endures all things.

Leann Luchinger ‘13
Consultant at Icktank

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