Great God, Your Love Has Called Us (ELW 358, focus on verse 5)
1 Great God, your love has called us here,
as we, by love, for love were made.
Your living likeness still we bear,
though marred, dishonored, disobeyed.
We come, with all our heart and mind
your call to hear, your love to find.
2 We come with self-inflicted pains
of broken trust and chosen wrong,
half-free, half-bound by inner chains,
by social forces swept along,
by pow’rs and systems close confined,
yet seeking hope for humankind.
3 Great God, in Christ you call our name
and then receive us as your own,
not through some merit, right, or claim,
but by your gracious love alone.
We strain to glimpse your mercy seat
and find you kneeling at our feet.
4 Then take the towel, and break the bread,
and humble us, and call us friends.
Suffer and serve till all are fed,
and show how grandly love intends
to work till all creation sings,
to fill all worlds, to crown all things.
5 Great God, in Christ you set us free
your life to live, your joy to share.
Give us your Spirit’s liberty
to turn from guilt and dull despair,
and offer all that faith can do
while love is making all things new.
Reprinted under OneLicense.net #A730924
The opening words of verse five echo nicely the Apostle Paul’s pleading reminder to the Galatians in chapter five: “For freedom Christ has set us free.” As we saw in Isaiah’s vision, the fullness of God is awesome and beyond human comprehension, and maybe sometimes even a bit frightening. Yet in Christ the Holiness of God has come close in a form we can recognize. Jesus reminds us of who God created us to be, and how we are called to live in the world. When fear, guilt, and sin keep us captive to despair, Jesus breathes new life and hope into us, setting us free to live the life of Christ. By grace we are invited into God’s impossible vision, where love indeed is making all things new. Let it be so.
Gracious God, what are humans that you should entrust us with such love, mercy, and grace? As Christ came into the world to proclaim your reign of love, make us useful in your work of making all things new. Amen.