Great Big Love

“Great Big Love” by Bruce Cockburn (from “Nothing but a burning light”(1991)
Evening sun slants across the road
Painting everything with gold
I’m headed for home, got a woman there
I can barely wait to hold
Got wind in my hair, got the heat inside
Heart jumping up and down
An empty head and a messed-up bed
I’ll be floating just above the ground
Great big love
Sweeping across the sky
Seen a lot of things in the world outside
Some bad but some good stuff too
Felt the touch of love in the works of God
And now and then in what people do
Never had a lot of faith in human beings
But sometimes we manage to shine
Like a light on a hill beaming out to space
From somewhere hard to find
Great big love
Sweeping across the sky
I ride and I shoot and I play guitar
And I like my life just fine
If you try to take one of these things from me
Then you’re no friend of mine
Got a woman I love and she loves me
And we live on a piece of land
I never know quite how to measure these things
But I guess I’m a happy man
Great big love
Sweeping across the sky

Great big love sweeping across the sky”. That’s a great image. There are times when looking at the beauty of the sky, especially at sunset, is all the proof I need that the universe, this world, and all of us were made on purpose- how could all that beauty be an accident? It is love, beauty, the creative energy from God that actually makes life possible.

In two days it will be Christmas Eve, and many will gather to sing carols and hear the story of the birth of Jesus. It is a story of which we do not tire. We hear and feel new meaning in it each time. Given the events of recent weeks, I am touched again by the vulnerability of the child born while the parents are on the road, far from home. No attending physician, no birth coach, no midwife. No soft lights, warm blankets or soothing music. No furniture. Just straw, and a manger. Cold wind whistling in through cracks in the stable walls. Pungent smells from animals who made the place their night time home.

Every baby, when they are growing within their mother, and when they emerge from that place of floating safety, needs to be loved. They need to be held, and washed, and soothed, and kept warm. They soon need to be fed, and burped, and held until they fall into sleep.

Not every baby is surrounded and nurtured by that kind of love. Some babies do not thrive, because they are not properly cared for. Some parents lack the means, some lack the will, or the example, to care for the new born.

Life is fragile. We are born so dependent on others. We get older, and we develop the illusion of self-sufficiency and independence. We come to believe that we can get by more on our own. Which is okay, as long as we do not get so full of ourselves, that we forget that as we needed help, others still need our help.

Earlier this month, the pastoral care team at Trinity hosted the annual Christmas luncheon for the seniors group we call Trinity Young at Heart. Musical guests, the Harptones, provided wonderful Christmas music, and invited us to sing along. My son Joel, who studies harmonica with their leader, joined the group for the day.


Between carols, I read portions of the Nativity Story from Luke’s Gospel. Near the end of the program, we offered an opportunity for each person to place a special ornament on our Christmas tree, in memory of a time, or place, or person they will think of over the season.

Some, but not all those who placed an ornament on the tree are at times quite lonely. Some, but not all these folks do not have family to share Christmas with, or family may be too far away for a get together. Some, but not all of these people have trouble getting around, and might not get to another celebration of Christmas.

When I reflected on the luncheon, and the program, I felt thankful that it went so well, and grateful that I could be part of it.  I realized that while we were there, being present for other people, and hopefully, shining some of
God’s love into their lives, I was not at all worried about the economic recession, or the value of my retirement fund, or even if I have finished all my Christmas shopping. It was like looking up at a sunset, and seeing the great big love of God. Amen

1 Comment

  1. Christine Rose says:

    Thank you my brother.. I love you.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s