Tuesday, March 4, 2008

love divine, all loves excelling

Each day of Lent I am publishing one of Charles Wesley's hymns or poems. In my experience, the selection of Charles Wesley's hymns that we actually use in worship is very small. This is sad, because his hymns are filled with deep theological truths and great beauty.

Use these as a part of your Lenten disciplines, and share any thoughts or reactions in the comments.

Lent Day 24

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
(United Methodist Hymnal #384)

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

1 comment:

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

This is one of those hymns that put to rest the false notion that the Wesley's weren't profound theologians (I had a philosophy of religion professor at seminary who said the Wesley's weren't theologians, but great managers and administrators; he was a Unitarian, so what did he know . . .). The entire drama of salvation, the Triune Reality of God, the hope of the Christian life is right here in these few verses.

One could spend a lifetime unpacking what these words mean. One should spend a lifetime figuring out what this all means.

Rich, again - thank you.