One of the great gifts that I am discovering in this new time are the “tunes” that really talk to my heart – some pretty ancient and powerful, and some freshly penned as people give expression to the lament and the longing of the world right now.
This morning I flipped through my granny’s old Methodist hymn book – complete with pencil scribbles – until I came to 431: Love Divine. This was the hymn that I chose before offering my public testimony to God’s continued call upon my life to be ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament, with the middle verse sung in isiXhosa in recognition of the great diversity of God’s people. It will also, one day in the very far future I hope, be sung at my mom’s funeral.
This Thursday, I offer the words to you to reflect on: words which bind me in this present moment to a past that speaks of God’s faithfulness and a future which is full of promise; words which speak of a Church that crosses oceans and transcends time; words which call us to the kind of love that transforms us from the inside out.
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down;
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown:
Jesu, Thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.
Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more Thy temple 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,Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Til in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Or, if you’d like to listen:
I wonder, what song is in your heart at the moment? You might want to take a minute to comment on this post or to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that it can be included in a future “Tune in on Thursdays.”
Yours in Christ