Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Dearly Loved - Forever Loved


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I wish there was some better news to share about Coronavirus. But instead, stark landmark numbers this past week have brought home to us how bad it is. In the UK, over 100,000 people have now died due to this horrible disease, and this number continues to rise. Worldwide, the total number of infections has passed 100 million, with over 2 million deaths, increasing.


Huge Numbers


These huge numbers are being used to chart the pandemic, but we can’t just regard them as cold statistics. Contained within them are real people who were dearly loved and are now sadly missed. We stop a minute to sympathise. That’s very meaningful and poignant personally for those of us who have experienced the loss ourselves.


Better News

There is some better news about vaccinations – around 8 million in the UK within just a few weeks. We were among these to get our first “jab” a few days ago - painless and free of complications afterwards!


Light at the End

We often hear that the vaccines are giving “light at the end of the tunnel”, which is most welcome. But the tunnel is particularly dark for many who are still suffering. It is a constant struggle against exhaustion for many health professionals s they give their utmost to alleviate distress and save lives, while others are working hard to minimise the damage to people’s wellbeing and livelihoods.


Good News?

Is there any other good news to share? There is always some good news for someone somewhere! But you know the Gospel brings good news for everyone everywhere! It is beautifully summarised in the Bible in John 3.16. Have you noticed how G–O–S–P–E–L is spelt out in the verse?


For God so loved the world

that He Gave his Only begotten Son

that whoever believes in Him

should not Perish but have Everlasting Life.


Amazing Love

Isn’t it amazing that God loves us, and a more amazing still that He showed His love by giving His Son to die for us? We surely ought to love God because of all that He has done, but 1 John 4.10 reminds us “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”.


One day the Lord Jesus told a lawyer that the greatest of all Old Testament commandments is that “we should love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind” (Matthew 22.35-38). But love is not really the result of an order or a command – it is a spontaneous response of the heart. That’s how God loves each one of us – completely, unconditionally, eternally.

Loved with an everlasting love
By Him who left His home above,
To bring us life and light, and love,

Because He loved.

Loved, when our sky is clouded o'er,
And days of sorrow press us sore;
Still, will we trust Him evermore,

For we are loved.

Loved in the past of yesterday,
And all along our future way,
And in the present of today –

Forever loved.

Loved when we sing the glad new song
To Christ, for whom we've waited long,
With all the happy, ransomed throng –

Forever loved.


If you wish to check it out, and maybe find the tune on YouTube, 

you’ll find these words in a hymn by Grace Pennell which begins -

Loved! - then the way will not be drear ...

Used by kind permission of Bert Cargill, Scotland


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