Normally when I think of “mingling” I think of the cheesy ice-breaker game we often play at youth group nights that gets participants into various group sizes to learn a little bit more about each other. But one of my favorite Lenten hymns, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” (LSB 425), discusses a different kind of mingling:
See, from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown? (Isaac Watts – Public Domain)
In this case, the mingling and meeting are anything but “cheesy” or surface level. The very depth of sorrow and the very depth of love meet and yes, mingle, as blood drips down our Savior’s body…for us. Oh the sorrow, the darkness of that day—a day when God forsook His very own Son. But sorrow doesn’t compose the full picture; it meets and mingles with a love deeper than we could ever imagine, a love so great that it would endure such great sorrow so that the story wouldn’t end with pain and hurt and struggle that we see in the world.
No, there is a promise, one filled with hope, that tells of a day to come where love would mingle no more with sorrow and instead be all about JOY! Sorrow and love had to mingle and meet so that sorrow could be forgotten and we could be introduced to forever joy! The crown of thorns will be replaced with a crown of glory! Revelation 21 tells of this day:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or plain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:3-5a)
When I think of that that glorious day, I understand the heart of verse four in this hymn:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!
No matter what I could bring in response to my Savior, it would not be enough to express the gratitude and hope I have because of the sacrifice made for me. So, instead, I bring the only thing I have, and perhaps the only thing He wants anyway: myself… my soul, my life, my all!
Jesus, when I survey, look at, imagine, your cross, all I can do is praise you and give you my everything! Because of your great love I can look forward to a day when all I will know is your great love! In the sorrows and struggles of my earthly life, remind me of Your great love that was willing to sacrifice everything. In Your Holy Name, I pray, Amen!