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!
Each of the readings for this week, like the words of Charles Wesley's great hymn, promise and extend the movement of God's love toward us. From the moment God comes to Adam's loneliness until the day Jesus gathers the children, we hear God "fix in us [God's] humble dwelling." "Humble dwelling" captures the awe of the psalmists gazing at the creation and the humility with which they recognize their own small place in the cosmos. The Bible insists that God breathes God's "loving Spirit" into the least and the lost, the lone and the last. This is good news for all of us together.
Wesley's hymn also looks forward, anticipating our trust and belonging, our growing ever more secure until in wholehearted trust we are "lost in wonder, love and praise." We know mostly fleeting glimpses of God's great love, so we keep listening day in and day out to the loving grace that keeps us alive, together, and in Christ.