My God, How Wonderful Thou Art (ELW 863, focus on v. 4-5)
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.
The final verses of this hymn by Frederick W. Faber celebrate especially the miracle of the Incarnation in which God our Creator enters our world as a loving, forgiving, and devoted servant, reminding us of how deeply God is committed to us as Savior and Lord. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the cares and concerns of this world at times that we may suffer spiritual amnesia. We hear of the Almighty as an “everlasting friend” who meets the needs of our minds and hearts when we may feel lonely or unworthy. This old favorite song counters the Deist views of many of the founding fathers of our nation who believed God was too distant to be bothered with human everyday challenges and needs. We thank God for sending Jesus to be our forever friend as “Immanuel,” i.e. God with us.
Thank you, Lord, for hymn writers like Frederick Faber whose compositions help us celebrate you and your great love for us. Amen.