Valentine's Day & Love Divine

By Steve Manskar

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Charles Wesley, 1747

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation!
Enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy grace 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.

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.

In this great Wesley hymn we sing of the power of love. Wesley reminds us that God is the source of all love. There is no love apart from God. Any love we humans are capable of giving and receiving is pure diving gift, whether we realize it or not. Sin renders humans incapable of love. But love is more powerful than sin. God freely shares the gift with us because he loves all of us as his own children. We need to be reminded that the love we receive today has its source from God. How we respond, and what we do with this gift, is entirely up to us.

Love is the power of God that saves, liberates, heals, and makes all things new.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also (1 John 4:16b-21).