Ordinary Time


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

from “The Love of God” by Frederick Martin Lehman (1917)


There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18


There’s a hymn called “Abide with Me” (Henry Francis Lyte, 1989). The first verse says:

“Abide with me! fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide! When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”

Throughout 1 John, the author uses the word “abide.” In verse 16, the author says, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” Then, in verse 18, the author speaks about how fear and love relate to one another – or rather, that when love is perfect, there is no fear around!

But the truth is, even as perfectly as Hollywood depicts love in movies, love between human beings isn’t perfect. We do have fear!

God’s love doesn’t work with fear. Like the hymn says, even when there is darkness around us, even when our helpers desert us, and even when we don’t have anything to call our own – God stays with us.

That is Love that has reached perfection. That is Love that casts out fear.

Molly Shoulta Tucker


Abiding God, remind me of your perfect love that holds me and casts out fear of betrayal, distrust, or abandonment. Move me into loving others as you love me. Amen.


O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure —
The saints' and angels' song!

from “The Love of God” by Frederick Martin Lehman (1917)