Friday, November 13, 2009

Memory Verse

Last night the preacher gave us a memory verse. It was Romans 5:5b:

God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us

I find it hard to commit to memory. I am good at remembering things so it probably is hard to remember. Why? Well just a thought but it is one of those sentences where the word order can change without losing meaning. You can jumble up the nouns and it still works. So:

The Holy Spirit has poured out God into our hearts by his love he has given us

God has given his Spirit into our hearts by his love he has poured out

God has given his love to us by his Spirit in our hearts

Love has given us hearts, poured out with the Holy Spirit for God

Now none of these really rock theologically but that isn't my point. The verse wasn't given to a bunch of theologians, or even students of theology, but a congregation which included eleven year olds.

I don't imagine love as a pourable substance, or my heart as a thing needing to be filled, or the Holy Spirit as the pouring mechanism. The metaphor is lost on me. If I reach for the memory verse some words come but not sense. Not easily.

Here's a plea. If you are going to use memory verses, for God's sake make them memorable.


SueM said...

I think it might be that too much is being given - so first God pours out the Love, then we find it is poured through the agency of the Holy Spirt, then that that Spirit has also been given to us.

Having said that, I quite like it, I find the metaphor of love poured into our hearts meaningful. It is suggestive of God's generosity and also of being flooded with love, so we have lots to spare.

Is this true of myself or the Christians I know (hmmm...should be maybe...)

Is it memorable? I'll sleep on it and see if I remember it in the morning!

dick b said...

This is a verse that's be deeply embedded in my consciousness for a couple of years.

It's quoted by Fr John Main as reflecting the experience of stillness and silence, for example here