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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Saturday, May 05, 2018

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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.

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.

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.

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!

This beloved hymn by Charles Wesley was first published in 1747 and is still found today in hymnals of many denominations. It's a heart-cry for the pure and unbounded love of Christ to enter and abide in our trembling, troubled hearts and, therein, to free us and transform us. "Take away my love of sinning," we sing. Make me serve and praise you always. Finish me. Restore me. The words pull us heavenward toward a vision of ultimate, total restoration, "lost in wonder, love and praise."

Holy Lord, my heart does tremble and my breast is troubled with the realization that I so often choose my will over yours. And yet you abide in me. Make me more and more your own, until I see you face to face. Amen.

Gayle Pope, '03
Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Quincy, Ill.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.