Sunday, January 24, 2010

Singing "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"

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.

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.

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.

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.

My brother Steve wrote to me:

"Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" just wrings me out with emotion. It makes me cry, and smile, and be joyful, and just be broken as a redeemed sinner forgiven by God. I love singing it, but I can barely sing it, yet I sing it with everything I can possibly muster whenever I am given the chance in church.

Hymns like that hymn just dumbfound me when I am confronted by lack of faith in others. That hymn makes faith — the gift of faith, the desire for faith, and the reward of faith — so very real, so very humbling, and so very blessed. God gifted me with faith. I believe. I have no doubts.

And Steve liked the following videos of performances.

St. Olaf's Choir

Crystal Cathedral Choir

Jubilate Reunion

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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