Immortal Love, Forever Full

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Well, it’s been quite a week. 

From productive meetings and back-to-back private students, two great choir rehearsals and my first full day at Fitchburg State, “stomping out fires” and a massive amount of email, it’s been exciting and a little overwhelming at times.  I am amazed at all of the music and teaching opportunities that are in front of me this semester but there are times when I feel incapable.  “How can I keep up with all of this?”  I ask myself.  Perhaps I need to read this post again?

Yesterday, I took a few minutes to review a few pieces before choir rehearsal.  I turned to one of our new pieces (my favorite anthem in the folders right now) – “Immortal Love, Forever Full” (arr. Kreider – listen here).  I was the only one in the Sanctuary and the church was quiet. . . it was so peaceful.  I relished the moment of solitude.  It became a moment of worship for me, playing there in the middle of the afternoon.  I read the words and let the meaning sink in.  A sense of calmness washed over me – just what my soul needed.  “Forever shared, forever whole, a never ebbing sea!”

Immortal love, forever full, 
forever flowing free,

forever shared, forever whole, 
a never ebbing sea!

Our outward lips confess the name
all other names above;

love only knoweth whence it came, 
and comprehendeth love.

We may not climb the heavenly steeps
t
o bring the Lord Christ down;
in vain we search the lowest deeps,
for Him no depths can drown.

But warm, sweet, tender, even yet,
a present help is He; 
and faith still has its Olivet,

and love its Calvary.

The healing of His seamless dress
i
s by our beds of pain;
w
e touch Him in life’s throng and press,
a
nd we are whole again.

The letter fails, the systems fall,
a
nd every symbol wanes;
t
he Spirit over brooding all, 
eternal Love remains.

- John Greenleaf Whittier, 1856