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My Song Is Love Unknown

It is Palm Sunday 2007.  While I readied in the choir room for the 9am service, I flipped through the service bulletin to review the Order of Worship.  As I saw what would transpire, and considered my small part in all of it, I remembered the tag-line of a current commercial, "Sometimes Life Comes At You Fast".  For this morning, we first receive palms, have them blessed, and then sing out and rejoice while we process with Christ back into Jerusalem.  We hear from Isaiah "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear".  Then In Phillippians, the mood changes to that of solemnity for "he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross".  BOOM!  It is Holy Week.  We now begin the agonizing Walk to Calvary as we hear the Passion according to St. Luke.  As part of the "All' responding in the Gospel, we join in to cry out, challenging Jesus, calling him a blasphemer, giving him up and turning him over because we want Barabbas instead.  Finally, we want this Jesus dead.  "Crucify, Crucify him!"

The sweeping range of emotion this morning left me with little voice for the next three hymns that so make Holy Week for me.  "Ah, Holy Jesus" (#158), then "My Song Is Love Unknown" (#458), and finally "O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded" (#168).  These three hymns touch on what it is to adore Jesus one moment, to fail Him a moment later, even to the point of hurting Him if not killing Him myself, and then finally to pray for redemption through His sacrifice.  Unable to find my voice to sing, I quietly wept instead.  The Son of God dies for me.  Again.

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

Words: Samuel Crossman (1624-1683), alt.
Music: Love Unknown, John Ireland (1879-1962)

O God, by the cross and passion of your Son Jesus Christ you saved and delivered humanity; grant that by steadfast faith in the merits of that holy sacrifice we may find help and salvation, and may triumph in the power of His victory; through the sames Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.     


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
Totally agree!
This whole week is so emotional for me in ways words can't ever express... but those three hymns come close.

The peace of the Lord be always with you!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )