Did you get up early on Friday morning to watch the wedding ceremony and events from Westminster Abbey in England? If you did, you were one of the many millions, like me, around the world who viewed this wedding. During the actual ceremony, I personally enjoyed hearing the choir and participants sing familiar hymns such as "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah", and "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling", my choice for this week's hymn. My hope is that some of those who sang those words had a genuine heart understanding of the message. I was impressed that a hymn with the name of Jesus would be used in such a service that was viewed throughout the world. In this day and age that is not politically correct and probably would not have been allowed if the service would have been held in the United States. Appropriately this week's choice was written by Charles Wesley, a son of England, in 1747. Charles was the eighteenth of Samuel and Susannah Wesley's nineteen children (only ten lived to maturity). He was born prematurely in December 1707 and appeared dead. It is said that he lay silent, wrapped in wool, for weeks. But the Lord preserved his life and he went on to be a very influential person in the history of Christianity. As a writer he is said to have averaged 10 poetic lines a day for 50 years. He wrote 8,989 hymns, ten times the number composed by the only other candidate, Isaac Watts, who could conceivably claim to be the world's greatest hymn writer. Some feel that this particular hymn was Wesley's best. Throughout the hymn he describes the love that surpasses any love ever known. Even the romantic love of a prince and princess pales in the light of this love. The hymn also addresses the work of the Son, the Spirit, and the Father in the life of a believer. And I love the closing words, "Finish, then, Thy new creation ... Till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise." What a day that will be when we are totally lost in His love. As you meditate on these powerful words this week may you "Serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect love."
(1) Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven 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 every trembling heart.
(2) Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to 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,
Never more 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 heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Enjoy this great hymn here. LISTEN