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Worship Wednesday - December 2, 2015

For the season of Advent, I will be spotlighting hymns whose lyrics focus on Emmanuel - God with us.

While researching hymns for Advent, I came across Charles Wesley's hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, a hymn I had never heard before.

I never cease to be amazed at the incredible theology that pours out of the old hymns - Love Divine, All Loves Excelling was no exception!  You can't help but be drawn into the throne room of God just by the power of the very lyrics of the hymn...

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Charles Wesley, 1747

1 Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown;
Jesu, 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 power 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,
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 sinless let us be,
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restor’d in thee;
Chang’d from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise! shares the following insights about Love Divine, All Loves Excelling...

"Charles Wesley wrote something like six thousand hymns during his lifetime.  He spent much of his life on horseback traveling from church to church, so you might wonder how he accomplished this.  A part of the answer is found in the fact that he was naturally gifted -- poetry welled up in him, allowing him to express his deep faith through hymns.  Another part of the answer is that he organized himself for his task.  He developed a kind of shorthand so that he could quickly jot down ideas as they came to him.  He carried note cards in his pocket so that he could record his thoughts even while riding a horse.  When he reached his destination, he would transform his rough notes into finished verse.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling is one of Wesley's greatest hymns.  The hymn is really a prayer -- a prayer to Jesus, who is "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling."  It invites Jesus to make his dwelling in us -- to visit us with his salvation -- to enter our hearts.  It invites him to take away our love of sinning -- to set our hearts at liberty.  It concludes by asking Jesus to finish his new creation (we are his new creation) so that we might be pure and spotless -- perfectly restored -- ready for heaven."

I found this piece of information about Charles Wesley so interesting!  I knew he was a prolific hymn writer, but I didn't know how they came to be...

Please enjoy listening to the following rendition of Love Divine, All Loves Excelling found on You Tube.

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  1. 6000 hymns! That is amazing. His mind must have been continually set on the things above. Thank you, Karen for sharing this.

    1. Debbie, I know! When I read that I was in awe!

      You are so very right.

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)


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