When my Vespers prayer book was bound together, one page was accidentally duplicated. The extra page occurs on II Sunday Vespers of Week IV, which we prayed tonight. After nearly seven years of praying from the same book, you’d think I might have removed the page by now. But every month, I turn it and keep going, because actually, I kind of like it. It’s familiar, almost comforting in its reliability.
I think I also like it because the duplicate page happens to be a portion of Psalm 136, a Psalm in which every line is punctuated by the phrase, “God’s love endures forever.” Somehow, turning an extra page of the eternal love of God seems fitting, as if the assurance of His mercy and love cannot be heard too many times.
We are all in need of mercy, and the repeated phrase of Psalm 136 is reassuring in its repetition, like viewing a mountain vista in which the peaks seem to go endlessly into forever. My extra page is like an extra glimpse into the endless horizon of God’s merciful love.
It’s a reminder, too, to be abundant in showing love – turning the extra page, going the extra mile, giving the extra time to bear witness to the infinitely enduring love of God.