It’s a common theme in Hollywood movies: A couple gets married for the wrong reason and then discovers the right reason rising within them. They pretend to love—to avoid immigration officials or inherit money etc., etc.—and then, actually, begin to love. They love Love.
It’s also how those who are married often stay married: They “do the things they did at first;” they don’t “forsake the love they had at first.” They reenact the love they had at first, and that love is not lost; instead, it deepens and grows—not a law but a life.
In the upper room, Jesus formed a covenant with us and then said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
The Way in which Real Love conquers fake love is called romance.
The joy with which ego is sacrificed to Grace is called comedy.
The miracle of Love suddenly appearing in the dirty manger of each self-centered, human heart is called the Gospel.
“Love is strong as death, jealousy (passion) fierce as [‘sheol:’ hell],” wrote Solomon. “Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.” Solomon wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, but I bet he wrote that (Song of Solomon 8:6) after he dedicated the temple.
In 1 Chronicles 28, King David charges Solomon, the son of David, saying, “Be strong and courageous and do the work,” that is, build the Sanctuary, the Temple.
In 2 Chronicles 5, King Solomon and all of Israel have done “the work” and are doing “the work.” The priests place the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, while other priests offer sacrifices and blow trumpets, and musicians and choirs lead all the people in singing what David repeatedly commanded them to sing: “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon prays a prayer and calls on the Lord to rise and enter his resting place.
In 2 Chronicles 7, fire falls, consumes the offerings on the altar, and the glory of the Lord fills the temple. The priests are unable to stand. All the people bow down in worship, give thanks, and sing, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Then they actually do what they had done before, but now, what had been a law to them, became the Life within them.
They continue to make offerings. They feast for seven days and an eighth day until Solomon sends them all to their homes “joyful and glad of heart.” It seems that they were still singing and did not want to stop: “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
As far as I can tell, that is the most repeated line in all of Scripture. And yet, very few seem to sing it and actually mean it.
“For He is Good.”
Adam and Eve could not sing that, for they did not know what the “good” was.
We take the life of “the Good” on a tree in a garden, and “the Good” gives his life to us, saying, “This is my body; this is my blood: Do this in remembrance of me.”
That’s the revelation of the Good and the Life; it’s the Revelation of Love.
“His Steadfast Love endures forever.”
His Love never comes to an end, for it is the end; “Hell” is not the end.
Love is the end. “I am… the End,” said Jesus.
We can sing that at the Sanctuary.
They sang that as a law at the Sanctuary in the Temple, then fire filled that temple, and what had been law to them became the Life within them.
Try to do the deeds of love: Worship your God who is Love, try to serve him in the temple that is your neighbor, and wait—the Fire will fill your temple.
Do loving things that you might feel loving feelings, but don’t fake the fire, or you’ll be consumed by the Fire.
Instead, try to love. And when you don’t feel love, confess that you don’t love Love—confess to Love and call on Love. And then you won’t be burned by Love when Love fills the temple. And Love will fill the temple; the Fire will fall.
In Sodom, they didn’t love Love—they didn’t care for the poor, and they used sex as a weapon—and they were consumed by Love that burned their flesh as fire. Scripture claims that Sodom will be restored… but the process looks rather painful.
When Love is a law, we perceive it as the Fire without. And it is.
But when we surrender to Love, we begin to perceive Love as the Fire within; the veil is ripped and the Breath of God, the Fire deep within, begins to fill the temple.
Same Fire… perceived no longer as pain, but ecstasy.
In the Upper Room, where Jesus had said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” a group of weak and frightened, insecure, disciples gathered together like stones are gathered together to build a temple. They gathered and prayed.
At first, I doubt they “felt” like it, but they waited for it—the baptism of Fire.
On Pentecost, the Fire fell. They began to worship in ecstasy and to share everything in common, not because they had to, but because they wanted to. They knew as they were known: “He is good, and his steadfast love endures forever.”
Let’s gather together, in-person or online (if in-person is not possible), pray, remember Him, sing the song, and call on the Fire.
Let’s “work” at worship until worship works us, until the Fire falls and the Law of Love becomes the Life of Love living in us, through us, and to a world terrified of the Fire.
They don’t know: “God is good, and his steadfast love endures forever.”