Texts: Matthew 1:18-25; Romans 1:1-7
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” one of my favorite childhood hymns, would always move me deeply. “Begotten,” what is begot? I actually looked it up: it’s bringing into being, birthing, it’s creating. The participle form is begetting. We do a lot of begetting in this congregation, a lot of creating of new things. Love—if we’re thinking about love today—may be the Presence, the beginning, middle & end to our entire Christian Story. So, where does an experience of God’s love, as this chant evokes, from the 4th Century, come from? Can we grow in understanding the origin and essence of God’s love in us, in and among us?
The kind of awe, mystery and opening of my heart that that particular chant evokes is something I felt as a child—not even understanding the words entirely. I still feel chills every year, up and down my spine, whenever we sing that. I don’t understand why.