Why this song?
This is a song about grace.
This is a song about we are so undeserving of God’s love for us, but that he loves us anyway; and that changes everything.
It changes how we interact with God. It changes how we interact with each other. It changes how we approach this earthly life. Grace makes all the difference.
Paul Gerhardt originally wrote 16 verses for this hymn. Charles Wesley liked it so much he translated all 16 verses to English. Over the years, it has been distilled down to 4 or 5 verses in most hymnals. This new melody by Nathan Partain features 5 verses.
The verses show how Jesus’ love for us fills many roles in our lives. It is our motivation, it is our role model, and, ultimately, it is our comfort as we depart this earthly life.
Use in Worship
Just as Jesus’ love fills many roles, so does this song. I can be used when talking about reflecting the love of Christ. It can be used to comfort those who mourn. It can be used as a simple proclamation of grace or in connection with Confession and Absolution.