Hymn of the Month
We are commanded to, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Colossians 3:16). Accordingly, we incorporate hymns into our regular Sunday morning worship at Pacific Hope Church. We firmly believe in equipping God's people with the knowledge of His Word through sound teaching in our classes, Bible studies, and even in our Sunday morning worship. Our worship will always be with the purpose of exalting the Lord to His proper place; it is never man-centered or seeking to create an emotional experience.
Our Hymn of the Month for July is Love Divine All Loves Excelling, another great hymn of the faith by Charles Wesley, one of the greatest hymn writers of the ages. The melody "BEECHER" by German composer, John Zundel, is just one of several familiar traditional tunes to which these words are frequently sung. (Click to listen to melody.)
Excerpt from Hymnary.org:
“Considered by many to be among Wesley's finest texts, "Love Divine" was published in four stanzas in his Hymns for those that seek, and those that have Redemption in the Blood of Christ (1747). Many hymnals, including the Psalter Hymnal, omit the original second stanza, which contained the questionable line ‘take away our power of sinning.’*
“Addressed to Christ, this text begins as a prayer for the indwelling of His love in our lives: "fix in us thy humble dwelling" and "let us all thy life receive" (stanzas 1-2). A tone of praise and adoration runs throughout the text. But the final stanza is clearly a prayer for sanctification, for consistently holy lives. Though this stanza was an outcome of the specifically Wesleyan doctrine of perfection, it is our fervent Christian prayer that our sanctification will ultimately lead to glorification. As is customary in a Charles Wesley text, biblical allusions abound.”
*Note: Our hymnal version substitutes the text “take away our bent to sinning.”
Stanza 1 = Rev. 21:3, John 3:16, John 15:9
Stanza 2 = Mal. 3:1
Stanza 3 = 2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Cor. 5:17, 2 Pet. 3:14
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
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 every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that promised 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,
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,
'Til in heaven we take our place,
'Til we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!