Today I’m happy to report that I am finally finishing a book project that has taken much more of my time and energy than anticipated. The working title is “A Hymn a Day.” It’s a selection of hymns for daily devotions, based on dates connected in some way with the hymns or their authors or composers. The release date is a year off, but here’s a sample — the installment for November 19:
I find it fascinating and comforting that the love of Jesus is described as being cube-shaped in Ephesians 3:18, perfect on all its sides, infinite in all its dimensions—long, high, wide, and deep. Drawing from this verse, Samuel Trevor Francis, who was born in England on November 19, 1834, makes the love of Christ real to us in this immortal hymn. His vivid image came from his own background. As a child, Samuel wrote poems and sang in the church choir; but as a young man he struggled with questions and considered drowning himself in the River Thames. Then he was wonderfully changed by a personal experience of the love of Christ. He eventually became a London merchant; but his real love was hymn-writing and open-air preaching, which occupied him all his life, until his death at age 92.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.—Ephesians 3:17-19