The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church

Day Thirteen

Love

Psalm 72:1-7

“May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, 
like showers that water the earth.” Psalm 72:6

There is a certain pouring out that is characteristic of God’s love. Psalm 72 is said to be a prayer for the guidance of a king, assumed to be Solomon. It is a call to God to guide Solomon to be one who embodies the loving nature of God through acts of justice. There is a call to act for the wellbeing of the nation, of the earth and especially the poor. I do not think it hard for us to find agreement that compassion, justice, and being in right relationship are key characteristics for how peopled should relate to one another. These are even more critical characteristics for those who hold power over others.

Unfortunately, our world is still led by too many leaders who see power as the ability to defy and destroy. The longer I live, the more I see the futility and uselessness of such a perspective. I am constantly reminded that true power is in the ability to build, to grow, to renew and restore. The Psalmist speaks to our hearts of this truth as he speaks the life giving promise of a leader who brings “deliverance to the needy.”

Do you remember the children’s song, “Magic Penny,” by Malvina Reynolds? The second half of the chorus states, “Love is something if you give it away, you’ll end up having more!” Once again, a message that seems to fly in the face of human logic. That is the nature of God’s love. It goes beyond our limited perspectives. In days when we see problems, God’s love offers promise. In days when we see people pulling away from each other, God’s love is reaching out. In days when we see hearts closing off from others, God’s heart is pouring out love and compassion.

I remember when my Mother was nearing her last days and her dementia was deepening, that part of her that needed to pour out love to her child was still strong. Whenever I would visit, as I was leaving she would find something to give me. A cracker, a soda for the road, or a favorite picture right off the wall! Once I sort of snapped at her saying, “Mom, I don’t need you to give me anything!” To which she replied, “But if I don’t give to you, it is like you aren’t my child.”

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving your love to me, over and over, unceasing. Your loving child, Amen.

Rev. John Farley
South District Superintendent
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference