On the 10th of November in ’75, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank beneath the waves of Lake Superior in a terrible storm.
Gordon Lightfoot composed a ballad to immortalize the 29 men who went down with the ship.
His ballad, the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, has a sad line in it that asks: “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”
Jesus asked something like this when He hung helplessly from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
In that black and timeless moment, Jesus was forsaken by the Father so that we might never be forsaken, never be left alone. So much He loved us that He walked the dark and lonely valley of death and hell that should have been ours.
“Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”
God’s love for you and me is right where it has always been. In sunshine or storm, when the waves of illness, disappointment and death turn the minutes to hours.
Here in the gospel of His living and dying and rising is God’s love, always there, in our classrooms and living rooms, in our pews and in our pulpit. Who can put a price tag on such love that He comes among us still in the Word and the Sacraments?
So now, fathers and mothers, boys and girls, listen! The love of God may lead us into the barren wilderness where dangers are all around. His love still summons us and equips us to take up our own cross, and the sword of the Spirit too, as we go forth to the great battle. He goes before us on this path through the wilderness, across the chilly waters of the Jordan, all the way to the land of promise. He has pledged His own life to keep company with us. Where shall the love of God lead us? Never where it cannot keep us!