“I Love to Tell the Story” (ELW 661)
1 I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story, because I know it’s true;
it satisfies my longings as nothing else would do.
I love to tell the story;
’twill be my theme in glory
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.
2 I love to tell the story: how pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet!
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
the message of salvation from God’s own holy word.
3 I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
how Christ, the gift from heaven, is God’s great gift of grace.
We know mountaintop stories, including the ones of Moses receiving the law and Christ being transfigured. We know the stories when God proclaims Christ as God’s Son with whom God is well pleased. The stories that share images of Christ’s life of loving service, comfort, and refuge are important for people who have never heard them and people who long to hear them again. These images of God’s love revealed through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are our stories to tell.
Kate Hankey (1834–1911), London lyricist of “I Love to Tell the Story,” told the mountaintop experience of Christ’s glorious image revealed. She also lived out Christ’s servant image, teaching Bible classes for girls working in shops, visiting people in hospitals, and using her writing profits to support missions.
How often do we lovingly share the story of Christ’s image of divine glory, as well as live out Christ’s image of human service?
God of word and deed, thank you for the story of Jesus and his love. Give us the compassion and courage to share the timeless story of your beloved Son’s light and love for all the world! Amen.