When we sing to infants and small children, we tell them how loved they are. We don’t say they are loved because of any particular characteristic or accomplishment, we just make sure they know they are loved.  We seem to understand that it is important they know from birth that they are worthy of love just because they are alive. There is something about this that gets more difficult as we get older.  Things get clouded by our circumstances, our disappointments, our pain, our behaviour, our decisions, our confidence.  But our value doesn’t change. In this time of isolation and loneliness, we are still loved.  For some it is a comfort to know that this comes from a Divine source, as the words of this lullaby suggest.  But the  source of love may also be from a special family member, dear friend or a beloved pet.  It may come in all sorts of forms – explicitly stated or gently expressed through acts of kindness and generosity.  It encircles us with its care and reminds us that we are worthy. You are loved.


This Sunday marks the end of the liturgical calendar. It is the final feast of the Christian year before we start all over again with Advent. Sometimes called “Christ the King” Sunday, it is meant to be a reminder of Christ’s power and the related gifts given by God. This festival was only established in 1925 by the Roman Catholic Church and was, at the time, meant to challenge the secularization of society. Well, I can’t say I am particularly concerned with or interested in that sort of focus, but I do kind of like the idea of saying goodnight to one year, reflecting on what’s occurred and moving into the new year with a spirit of peace and gratitude.

So I present a lullaby. It was suggested by a friend’s father who is, I think, in his eighties. He shared that he has very clear and fond memories of his grandmother singing this to him when he was a small boy. Another hymn that I hadn’t thought of in a while, his story triggered my own memories of my mother singing this to me. Now, I am not the most reliable for memory recollection, so I consulted with my brother and sister and both confirmed that this was indeed our lullaby. My brother thought our maternal grandmother sang it as well. The hymn is said to be a traditional Moravian song that begins to show up in print in a German hymnbook around 1693. So it’s old and has, based on what I’ve been told, been sung to children for at least eighty years. And I suspect many, many more.

Gott ist die Liebe, lässt mich erlösen;
Gott ist die Liebe, er liebt auch mich.
Drum sag’ ich noch einmal: Gott ist die Liebe.
Gott ist die Liebe, er liebt auch mich.

I can’t even hear this one in English, but the gist of it is that God is love and loves even me. Another simple, comforting sentiment. This can mean many things and probably varies for whomever is interpreting it, but for me it speaks to our intrinsic value. Something as great as a divine being loving me is a powerful source of strength and encouragement. However we see the details of the Divine, this kind of recognition and care requires us to be more than we sometimes feel like or think we can be. What a lovely thing to sing to a child. As we end one year and prepare to start the next, my hope is that this reminder serves to encourage us to learn from the past, and prepare for the future with the knowledge of this almighty, loving support.