My God, How Wonderful Thou Art (ELW 863, focus on v. 1-3)
1 My God, how wonderful thou art,
thy majesty how bright!
How beautiful thy mercy seat
in depths of burning light!
2 How wonderful, how beautiful
the sight of thee must be –
thine endless wisdom, boundless pow’r,
and awesome purity!
3 No earthly father loves like thee;
no mother, e’er so mild,
bears and forbears as thou hast done
with me, thy sinful child
4 Yet I may love thee too, O Lord,
almighty as thou art,
for thou hast stooped to ask of me
the love of my poor heart.
5 My God, how wonderful thou art,
thou everlasting friend!
On thee I stay my trusting heart
till faith in vision end.
This hymn by Frederick W. Faber, prolific writer of some 150 hymns, emphasizes the wonderful love and mercy of God so welcomed and needed during this time which seems so plagued with anxiety, division, hatred, and violence. Those of us who have been blessed with loving and devoted parents may take notice of verse 3: “No earthly father loves like thee; no mother, e’er so mild, bears and forbears as thou hast done with me, thy sinful child.” God’s love and grace surpass that of the most loving and devoted parents. This verse may also give encouragement and hope to those whose parents lacked the ability to love and care for them. This hymn as a whole brings together in a memorable way the magnificence, majesty, power, wisdom, and purity of God with the down-to-earth, personal love and care of Jesus.
Thank you, Great and Powerful Almighty, for stooping down to our level and into our lives through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.