Nothing can ever come between us

Today’s song from Sing Praise is ‘Nothing can ever come between us and the love of God’, another chant from the Taizé community.

The title is the first line of the chorus, the second line being ‘… revealed to us in Jesus Christ’.  I’ve discovered this week that there is now a tradition of a ‘gender reveal party’ where a baby’s gender is disclosed, not only to friends but to the parents themselves who have not previously been given the information (you may well call me slow on the uptake here, as apparently the idea started in America ten years ago, but I don’t have children myself!)  The point is that to reveal something is not only to share factual knowledge, but to make an event of it, to add drama to that passing on of information.  So when the Bible says that God reveals himself to us (and a concordance tells me the word is used 81 times in the Bible) it is more than simply telling us that he exists, it is intended to make a sudden and dramatic change in our understanding, one that will change our lives radically in the same way that people’s lives are changed by having a baby.

The verses, or rather chants to be sung by a solo cantor, are verses from Psalm 56 and Romans chapter 8. They are all about trust in God, and God as the Father who have us his son who died, rose again and prays for us. As a result, to quote the last one, “neither death, nor life, nor things present or to come, nothing can ever keep us from God’s love”.  That love once revealed never leaves us, like the love of a mother for her child.

Lord, you have searched me and known me

Today’s song from Sing Praise is “Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us” which is a chant from the Taizé community. Like many of their chants it takes the form of a repeated refrain or ostinato to be sung by the congregation, and a series of verses to be sung over them by a soloist (cantor). 

The verses in this instance are selected from Psalm 139, “Lord, you have searched me and known me”.  The selected verses remind us that God is everywhere, and knows all that we do, however we might think we are beyond his reach: whether asleep or awake, at home or far away, by day or by night.  This can of course be either a scary or a comforting thought, depending on whether we are secretly ashamed of our behaviour, or in difficulty and really needing his support.   

The last verse is “Search me, God, and know my heart, and lead me in the everlasting way”. The purpose of God’s all-knowing perception is not to punish us for the things of which we are ashamed, but gently to correct, or to direct us when we are uncertain which way to take in life.

The ostinato or refrain is not taken from the psalm, but is perhaps a Christian response to the third of the verses (Ps. 139:11) about the darkness being as light to God: “Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us. Let not my darkness speak to me. Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us. Let my heart always welcome your love”. The darkness, here, may (depending on our circumstances) represent depression, doubt or uncertainty, rather than a conviction of sin. Whatever its nature, Jesus can bring light to the situation.