Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (ELW 631, focus on verse 1)
1 Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down!
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter ev’ry trembling heart.
2 Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev’ry troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit;
let us find thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
3 Come, Almighty, to deliver;
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
4 Finish then thy new creation,
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee!
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise!
Charles Wesley blessed us with this joyful hymn to Jesus, God’s love dwelling with us, in us. Jesus’ deeply personal bond with “ev’ry trembling heart” also empowered the Wesleys’ prophetic engagement on behalf of workers in industrial England. In our time, with help from Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed Jesus’ nonviolent “Strength to Love.” Tender and personal, God’s love is transformative for the world.
“God Loved the World” has been our theme this week. Christ Jesus comes to us, giving us life. And this “pure unbounded love” reaches through us for our families and our communities, for our neighbors and the world God so loves. God is just getting started, again today, with us.
This is Sunday, the Lord’s Day, in the Christian week. May the love of God dwell with you today with “all compassion” in your new life in Christ Jesus and in the strength of God’s care for the world and all its peoples.
Come Lord Jesus, abide with us. Humble human dwelling that I am, help me come alive in the Spirit of your compassion and love for the world. Amen.