There is a word in the Hebrew scriptures that has been following me around: hesed.
Hesed is virtually un-translatable by our paltry English. It is particularly reserved as an expression of an unending, unmoved, covenantal love between two people. Hesed is a word used over and over again to describe Yahweh’s insistent love toward his people, Israel.
Over and again in the Old Testament, the words you’ll find to translate include:
steadfast love, mercy, kindness, goodness, favor, loving-kindness
The Psalms (my favorite), are particularly packed with חֶסֶד. In the New Testament, the closest equivalent is the Greek word charis (“grace.”).
If there is a word marking my 2011 (and mystifying me a bit in my study), it is this one. I thought it deserved an aside of its own here. I made the above image to help me catalog it all throughout the OT.