I love how over the years random folks, for random practical, musical, and sometimes “theological reasons” have taken it upon themselves to remove certain verses from hymns. In so many cases, what we are left with as a result is something incomplete…part of the story, the flow is missing. Composers and Lyricists, inspired by God, pen these intricate tapestries and flowing texts only for us to break them up…and thus, so many people are deprived of a complete, rich, full hymn text.
In “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” one of Charles Wesley’s hymns with a text dating c.1743, the verse that has been left out most often is the third verse. We most often associate one particular phrase with this hymn, and indeed, it is a beautiful phrase: “Till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise…” But in this third verse Wesley writes based on an encounter he had with the text of Psalm 63…(read it at http://www.biblegateway.com)
“Come, almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never, nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would always be blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above.
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love”
Tomorrow…the beginning of Churches of Christ and songs about the Holy Spirit…
“God be with you til’ we meet again…”