Here is Love - New Verses
On Sunday, we sang a familiar song with some new verses. Some of you may have been curious about where these new verses come from. When were in Bath, England for WorshipGod UK, one of the highlights was hearing from three younger men who are serving the church there with their leadership and songwriting gifts. One of them was Matt Giles, who is a worship pastor at a New Frontiers church in Exeter.
Matt has a passion for revitalizing hymns, often writing new verses to them. This past Sunday we sang his version of "Here is Love." The original lyrics were written by William Rees (1802-1882). with the music by Robert Lowry.
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
Matt added two new verses to these fine lyrics.
Here is love that conquered evil,
Christ, the firstborn from the grave
Death has failed to be found equal
to the life of Him who saves
In the valley of our darkness
dawned His everlasting light
Perfect love in glorious radiance
has repelled death’s hellish night
Here is love vast as the heavens,
countless as the stars above
Are the souls that He has ransomed,
Precious daughters, treasured sons.
We are called to feast forever
on a love beyond our time
Glorious Father, Son and Spirit
now with man are intertwined
The first two verses focused on the love God displayed in sending Jesus as our substitute to die on the cross. "The Prince of life, our Ransom, shed for us his precious blood." Matt's verses go on to highlight Christ's resurrection, his overcoming death and hell, our adoption into God's family, and the anticipation of feasting with the Triune God forever at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Quite an epic addition!
As always, we seek to sing songs that enable the word of Christ to dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). Matt's verses help us plumb even greater depths of Christ's atoning work, and I'm thankful he and others are searching for fresh ways to proclaim God's salvation in Christ.