6 Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O LORD! 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. 

-Psalm 25:6-10 (NRSV)

 Image your favorite love song and how sometimes your mind drifts to the lyrics independent of the accompanying rhythm; that’s the psalms. Although I tend to believe that all art, and love songs in particular, are inevitably about God, these songs, the Psalms, are unlike most songs because they tell us about God, God’s love, and ways of understanding it. The Psalms are songs about God that sing most joyfully when you read them like poetry. 

This passage reminds us of the eternal character of God’s love. Before we are born and long after we are gone, God’s love will remain and cover us and our loved ones across time. Our most beloved family members and dearest friends who have long since passed, and even our seemingly anonymous ancestors and unknown future descendants, are all included in God’s steadfast love. More still, this Pslam tells us about how we learn to accept God’s love, which God graciously gives to us whether we “want” it or not. Isn’t God wonderful? 

As we ask for forgiveness for our wrongs, our participation in exploitation and violence, and every form of sin, God is teaching us about love. God understands our tendency to fail to love and meets our failure with instruction and patience. Our friends and families are integral and necessary components of God’s love. This means that parents are learning just as much as they teach, and our siblings, friends, and neighbors are a part of God’s teaching staff for our benefit. The perils of everyday life and the struggles of surviving some of our most difficult relationships are more than daily hurdles to overcome, they are opportunities for us to grow closer to God. Not that God placed addiction, poverty, or violence in our lives to “teach” us. Still, through God’s loving instruction, we become more able to meet adversity with resilience and pain with prayerful endurance. Parents send their children to school to grow in knowledge and love. As parents, we should continue to grow our knowledge by studying love. 

Enduring God, we pray for both Your patience and Your instruction! We truly want to love each other according to Your will, even when we fall miserably short. We refuse to let this family lose sight of Your love, yet if we struggle to keep our hearts close to Yours, we will hold each other close to Your love and instruction! Thank You for being our greatest teacher. Amen!

Questions for reflection: When you look at your actions and decisions over the last week, what sort of love have you taught others? How do you think God is teaching you about love this week?