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Tuesday, April 7, 2020
What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love to thee.
“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (v. 3)
translation by James Waddell Alexander (1830)
Hymn 221, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
This hymn has always and forever been one of my very favorite hymns. First and foremost, the soaring melody that Bach composed for this text just fills the whole sanctuary with incredible beauty. And that melody is supported by such intricate polyphony that joins in the beauty of the musical lines and fills them out and sends them soaring even higher.
As my faith journey has matured, I’m finding that my soul responds to the idea that Jesus’ suffering and sorrow may be intended to show us the vast extent of God’s love for us, who were created in God’s holy image. So my desire to find language leans more to gratitude for the cosmic ocean of God’s love for us and God’s desire that we, God’s creatures, could recognize that. And always, always, I pray that I might dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever.
O holy and loving God, we praise you in thanksgiving for your deep and everlasting love of us, your creatures. Give us grace to follow your path as we wend our way through this life. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Written by Marsha Heizer, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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