When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (ELW 803)
1 When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
3 See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
How shall we respond to our gracious, patient, searching and finding God? How do we thank God who made us, who forgives us, who promises to never tire of coming after us when we wander off to worship other gods or find ourselves in trouble? How shall we live in the shadow of “the wondrous cross on which the prince of glory died”?
There is no one answer. Each of us is called to love God and love our neighbor with our particular time, talent, and treasure as God’s gathered and scattered church. It’s never our goal to make ourselves worthy of God’s patient grace or earn God’s favor. We’re assured of that in our baptisms!
Isaac Watts reminds us that even if we could offer the whole world in response to “love so amazing, so divine,” it would pale in comparison to God’s grand gifts to us. With joy and thanksgiving, we offer back to God what we have first received: “my soul, my life, my all.”
Generous God, we thank you and praise you for your creation and for your patient, saving grace. Send your Spirit to inspire our extravagant generosity in thanksgiving for your amazing love. Amen.