Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

I'm writing this a few hours before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, England. Usually the only royal family events I read about are ones that happened centuries ago, but for some reason I googled the royal wedding and read some of what was written.

I clicked on the "Music Selections" and was interested to see all the music the couple chose for their big event. What fascinated me the most was their hymn selection. The article said that the three hymns are the couple's favorites. They are "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer", "Jerusalem", and my own favorite "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling." I am impressed.

"Guide Me" is a plea for guidance and includes the words, "Bread of heaven, feed me til' I want no more." And "Jerusalem" is based on a poem by William Blake which has always fascinated me. There is a legend that Joseph of Arimathea was a relative of Jesus' who took Him on a trip to England during those years between 12 and 30 about which scripture is silent.
"And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?"
I like to think it was true because I have a love for England and a passion for that nation to be, like our own, an example of God's Love and Wisdom.

Anyone who has the hymn "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" as one of their favorites, especially anyone who would choose this song for a ceremony celebrating their own love, immediately commands my interest.

The words of the hymn were written by Charles Wesley in the eighteenth century. They are timeless words of adoration and supplication. Read them aloud. Read them as a prayer to our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never, never more 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.

4. 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.

I love this hymn for many reasons - but one reason is that it is inclusive. The first verse defines our salvation. In the other verses our sanctification process is described and desired. Commitment is made. Expectation is expressed. And did you notice the last line? This young couple actually have crowns here and now. I pray they truly are able to cast those crowns before Him here and now and that He can use them to further His Kingdom in these days where there is so much war against His Kingdom.

I surprised myself by clicking on the "Leave a message for the Bride and Groom" button. I told them I pray for God to bless them and their calling to leadership. I ask you to pray for them also. And pray for their nation, like our own, to be turned back to the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier and Deliverer.

Pray that God uses them and ourselves to prepare His people for the eternal Royal Wedding with Jesus Christ and His Bride.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready. Revelation 19:7

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