This is Holy Week, and perhaps no words express the sentiment better than this great hymn by Isaac Watts. Written in 1707, this hymn was originally intended to be sung at a communion service. Charles Wesley, the prolific writer who himself penned over 6000 hymns, is said to have told a friend that he gladly would have given up authorship of all of those hymns had he written this one hymn.
Spend some time during this Holy Week reflecting on the message of Watts’ hymn.
Pay special attention to the final verse, which expresses so well our response to God’s amazing love.
When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the cross of Christ my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.
May God’s love touch us all on this most holy of weeks.
Dr. Lane Alderman
Roswell Presbyterian Church