An Everlasting Love is based on Jeremiah 31 and Psalm 23
Uses: funerals, baptisms, weddings, meditations, general worship
This song of consolation is written in dialogue form. In the congregational refrain God speaks to the newly occupied Israel as their eternal Shepherd, leading them still even in exile. In the solo verses Israel reaffirms its confidence in the Shepherd’s protection. The two voices are differentiated musically by the congregation-cantor exchange, by the shift from 4/4 to 6/8 time, the use of major seventh harmonies in the verses, and by a slight increase in the verse tempo.
The psalm has been interpreted to emphasis the full humanity of the needs met by the Shepherd; the physical (hunger, thirst, rest), the psychological (safety, direction, companionship), and the spiritual (inner peace, joy, fulfilment).
Derived again from Jeremiah 31, verse 4 comforts us with the promised return of the exiles to the homeland.
The refrain melody is a warm, heartfelt lilt, with a Scottish “feel”. It was written on the Isle of Iona, Scotland.