Sunday, July 7, 2013

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (Strength in Hymn)

 "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"
by Charles Wesley

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,
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,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee, 
lost in wonder, love, and praise. 

What comfort this hymn brings!  His love is the centerpiece, and our worship is the only worthy response.  These are my favorite lines...

Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art.


Set our hearts at liberty.


Glory in thy perfect love.


Till we cast our crowns before thee, 
lost in wonder, love, and praise.


I am still in Maryland with six of my kids.  We missed church last week, and I think we'll be on the road next Sunday, so I wanted to be sure to go this week.  My mother is recovering in rehab from surgery, so I didn't go to the little Lutheran church down the street with her. Instead, I did a Google search on PCA churches in the area.  I was delighted to find Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church, pastored by Dan Broadwater, who was my youth pastor for a short time when I was in high school.  (I had such a solid foundation in those years and I'm very grateful for it.)  I don't think I had seen him and his wife Kay since he performed my sister's wedding over 30 years ago!   They have faithfully ministered for all this time, and I was deeply touched by the simple gospel message of redemption and hope in a broken world.  I also really appreciated their genuine warmth and welcome toward me and my three youngest children when we visited this morning.

The building, built in 1907, used to be an Episcopal chapel.   I'm guessing that it used to be out in the country, but the suburbs grew up around it. 

The music was a mix of traditional hymns and contemporary songs, starting with the hymn "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" (thus this week's Strength in Hymn selection) and moving on to more recent worship songs like "What Can I Do."

Virginia Knowles


  1. What a sweet blessing from the Lord, Virginia! that you found this welcoming place to worship!

  2. I've not heard this before so many thanks for sharing the song. I love your pictures too!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  3. Dear Virjginia
    Charles Wesley was a gifted song writer! I love these words I am Afrikaans speaking and never sang his hymns when growing up, so I enjoy it so much.
    Luv XX

  4. Love the flowers,they are so beautiful..