Monday, February 22, 2010

Deep, Deep Love

Last night at church we sang "Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus." We had this song at our wedding. It's a bit of an unusual song for a wedding because it's in a minor key. So much of life seems to be in a minor key, though, especially lately. The words, if true, make all of life's trials bearable.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me,
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward
To my glorious rest above.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore;
How He watches o'er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o'er them from the throne.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best;
'Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
'Tis a haven sweet of rest,
Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus,
'Tis a Heav'n of Heav'ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee.

S. Trevor Francis, 1834-1925

Here's a link that plays music.

The tune, Ebenezer, is often used for funerals in Haiti, so I'd imagine this has been heard frequently in the last few weeks.

The Center for Church Music, Songs, and Hymns tells the story of this hymn; the author, Francis,

experienced that love in an especially compelling way one cold, winter night. At a point in life when his faith had wavered, Francis found himself walking across London's Hungerford Bridge. Mulling over his sadness and loneliness, he heard a whisper tempting him to end his misery and jump into the churning waters below.

Fortunately, Francis didn't heed the dark voice. Instead, he heard God's reassuring words speaking to him in the night. On that bridge, he reaffirmed his faith in Jesus Christ, and put complete trust in him as his Savior.

I talked to someone today who lost his wife in the earthquake, and while his grief is great, he told me that the love of Jesus has been very real to him. Like the story of Francis, there's no huge event, just an impression, a feeling. It may not seem like much. And yet in the darkness, when you have nothing else to cling to, somehow that love is there. Believe it or don't believe it, but for me there's no substitute for that deep, deep love.


Janet said...

Well said.

Thanks for sharing the story behind this hymn. It's a beautiful hymn; some of the most beautiful music is in a minor key.

Anonymous said...

I love that hymn as well. It's not one that is heard often. I never knew the story behind the hymn -- thanks for sharing. And for the record -- I choose toe believe it!

Ruth said...

Anonymous, so do I. :-)

Jessica said...

Great post. It reminds me of a quote I read yesterday: "Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer has become impossible and your heart has turned to stone".-Thomas Merton