God is Love

I am a huge fan of hymns with words that still speak, with truths that help us to glorify and praise a God who is love everlasting.

There is something about these hymns that sparks within me a sense of awe and wonder. Perhaps it is the simplicity of the music which allows the words to stand out and speak their truth plainly. Maybe it is because there is a huge amount of “shallow” Christian music in our culture (or subculture, if you will) so that when a song contains so much truth and teaching it is the notable exception.

Whilst watching Songs of Praise today, I heard this beautiful hymn, God is Love, sung to the tune we (in Australia) know as “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”

God is love: let heaven adore him;
God is love: let earth rejoice;
let creation sing before him,
and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth’s foundation,
he who spread the heavens above,
he who breathes through all creation,
he is love eternal love.

God is Love; and love enfolds us,
all the world in one embrace:
with unfailing grasp God holds us,
every child of every race.
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then we find that self-same aching
deep within the heart of God

God is Love; and though with blindness
sin afflicts all human life,
God’s eternal loving kindness
guides us through our earthly strife.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love forever
o’er the universe must reign.

(Timothy Rees, 1874-1939)

Considering the time in which the hymn was written, the message contained in its poem is so appropriate for us in our world where God’s love is so desperately needed, yet it is a truth that is often misunderstood, misrepresented or silenced.

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