#Song4Lent · Bible Study · Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Movie · Musical Theatre

A Song for Lent – Day 30 – Love Hurts… But it’s Worth it

To Read: Click on song title to watch a video

Love Changes Everything

from Aspects of Love

Love, love changes everything
Hands and faces, earth and sky
Love, love changes everything
How you live and how you die
Love, can make the summer fly
Or a night seem like a lifetime
Yes love, love changes everything
Now I tremble at your name
Nothing in the world will ever be the same

Love, love changes everything
Days are longer, words mean more
Love, love changes everything
Pain is deeper than before
Love will turn your world around
And that world will last forever
Yes love, love changes everything
Brings you glory, brings you shame
Nothing in the world will ever be the same

Off into the world we go
Planning futures, shaping years
Love bursts in and suddenly all our wisdom disappears
Love makes fools of everyone
All the rules we made are broken
Yes love, love changes everyone
Live or perish in its flame
Love will never never let you be the same
Love will never never let you be the same

 

From the Scriptures:

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4.7-12

 

To Reflect: 

‘Perhaps the greatest flop in Broadway history’, said Richard Bernstein of the 1990 production of Aspects of Love.  To be honest he had a point.  ‘Aspects’ has a messy plot line and, apart from the Actress Rose Vibert and the Soldier Alex Dillingham spending their life dancing around each other but never quite connecting, there seems to be no central story.

Aspects of LoveOther, that is, than the story of love. Love is the one thing that drives all the characters forward. Some loves are mistimed and other loves misplaced, some loves are romantic and other familial, but all are life changing.  When each of the characters finally surrenders to love, having resisted the temptations of greed and lust, they find they are changed for the better.  Which is not to say that love fulfilled all their desires or that life unfolded as they hoped it would.

To love is a dangerous and costly act, after all love led our Beloved to Calvary.  No wonder even faithful Christians called to be love’s ambassadors draw back for fear of the changes that will be wrought within them.

As the popular song reminds us ‘Love Hurts’, and I do not wonder that we fail at it so often.  I don’t like being hurt, but to know what it means to be loved by the One Who Loves Us Best demands we yield ourselves to a sometimes painful transformation.  It is no accident that the word ‘passion’ has a double meaning for Christians.

How then do we cope?  How are we to summon up the strength to offer love knowing that it may be rejected and we may be hurt?  Why would anyone in their right mind choose pain on behalf of a stranger, an enemy even, and proclaim it as love?

The Suffering Servant of Calvary gives us an example to follow but there are other reasons to follow this love that changes everything.

I do not always want to be the person I see in the mirror each morning.  The face that stares back at me has many moods.  Some days it is a hopeful face and I can step out of the vicarage door aiming to follow God’s call.  But there are darker days as well.  Days when the face is defiant or rebellious.  Days when the face is embarrassed and ashamed.  Days when the face is uncertain and frightened. And even, days when the face is smug and arrogant.

I don’t like those days.  I want to have less of those days. I want those days to change.  And Love whispers in my ear, ‘I can help.’  Too often my reply is ‘That will hurt’ and I turn away from the mirror sighing and wondering if the long-promised transformation ‘from one degree of glory to another’ (2 Corinthians 3.18) will ever happen.

And still our Beloved stands there, holding out a nail-scarred hand, asking us to love even though it may be the death of us.  Strange, that I find myself balking at dying to self, as this all that I have ever desired.

If ‘Aspects of Love’ were to be rewritten I would think that the movie ‘Love Actually’ fits the bill. Of course, several story lines (Love Actually has nine!) works better in film than on stage. The movie somehow seems to be able to hold all different sorts of life-changing love together and demonstrates that ‘Love Changes Everything’.

Of course it is not without pain, there are several ‘missed’ loves in the Shit kicked out of us by lovefilm.  But there are several loves fulfilled regardless of the cost and pain involved.  At it’s centre is the glorious pact made between the widowed Daniel and his step-son Sam. Together they decide to ‘go get the shit kicked out of us by love’. Strong words from a youngster going through the angst of his first schoolboy crush, but maybe some good advice to follow as we move deeper into the wonder of Passiontide: the season of deep pain that shows love at its brightest.

 

To Pray:

Sewing Love

I haven’t much to offer
as I’m not very rich,
But God gave me a gift of love
so I’ve put some in each stitch.
So when you wrap it
round your child
with care and tender love,
I pray that God
will clothe your child
forever in his love.

Marjorie Audrcuu, Wales

  

To Do:

1)  Today tell a loved one that you love them
2)  Decide today to start loving someone who you disagree with, even though it may hurt you.

Encore: Click on song title to watch a video

Towards the end of this tale of different Aspects of Love Rose sums everything up.  Through its many turnings and loves, some almost disastrous, some only hinted at, her words shine through.  Those who love, and love with all their heart are Anything but Lonely.

 

Acknowledgements:

Prayers are from ‘Prayers Encircling the World’ and are copyright © SPCK: 1998.
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2018

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