O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (ELW 241, st. 3)
3 Love caused your incarnation; love brought you down to me.
Your thirst for my salvation procured my liberty.
Oh, love beyond all telling, that led you to embrace
in love, all loves excelling, our lost and fallen race.
So often, and so easily, people talk about salvation as something that humans want. Yet, truth be told, many people are just as often oblivious about it. Or they seek salvation in all the wrong places.
But one thing is certain. God is interested in our salvation, a living relationship with us. In this stanza we see that Paul Gerhardt was obviously attuned to the good news of the “prevenient” grace of God, the grace that comes to us before we have prepared ourselves for it. How else could he write about God’s “thirst” for our salvation?
Advent is a time of preparation on our part, and at its best it is a time for the Spirit to work within us to make us aware of the boundless love of God—God’s thirst for our salvation—that makes the coming of Christ to us and our world possible. As we sing, pray, and hear the gospel, the Spirit is indeed active among us, and for that we give thanks.
Holy Spirit, stir up our hearts and minds to behold the “love beyond all telling” that led God to embrace us and all humankind. Help us to reflect and enact that love all our days. Amen.