Friday, March 25, 2011

He Loves Us (He is Jealous for me)

I spoke at Bath Uni and Bath Spa Uni CU's joint meeting this week. Over 150 students, and a handful of church leaders from the city, gathered to give thanks for the last year of student mission and to look to the next year. I had the honour of preaching. MP3: He Loves Us (Hosea 2:14-20)

  • 1. He brings
  • 2. He woos.
  • 3. He betroths
  • The Evangelists Heart
  • The Evangelists Task
  • The Evangelists Aim
After the talk Sarah and James led us to sing Here is Love, of Jesus the Saviour of the world and we sang John Mark McMillan's He Loves Us. They were great choices. Dean chose In Christ Alone and He Loves Us after I preached on the same text in Cardiff last month. I really like McMillan's song though I find the lyrics are a bit sloppy in places - cutting the tree line in half sings oddly and a few of the phrases are probably too poetic for congregational singing. And it's about the only song on this theme of the affections and jealousy of God that anyone seems to know. I intend to keep preaching stuff but we need lyrics. Songwriters: please give us more songs to sing on this theme, please serve us!

Further reading on this whole area of God's passion and jealousy I recommend:
Jeremiah Burrough - An Exposition of Hosea
Ray Ortlund- God's Unfaithful Wife
Richard Sibbes - The Sunshine of the Gospel


  1. I'm up for a go! so a congregational song that expresses God's affection and jealousy for us... and I should have a look at Hosea right?

  2. Listen to the sermon, buy Ray Orlund's God's Unfaithful Wife (older versions are called: Whoredom) or my The Sunshine of the Gospel - and live in Hosea for a while! :)

  3. Lyrically poetic and expressive, rather than sloppy?

  4. I guess I'm playing on the lyrics, but splitting the "I am tree phrase" half way through the line is sloppy....

  5. fwiw I really like that jesus culture song. at momentum this january Mike Pilavachi joked about it being lyrically ridiculous but getting back to the heart of "jesus loves me this i know, for the bible tells me so", and the minute we move beyond that, we die. In fact if you get a chance to hear his talks from there they were remarkably rich trinitarian stuff. Esp. on John 13 ("I will") to John 21 ("I love"). superb.

    I reckon old is the way forward. Rewriting/resetting or just plain rediscovering some old music/lyrics could be the place to look.

    Rutter's what sweeter music, [lyrics (here) are so so sweet. I can't resist:

    we see him come, and know him ours
    who with his sunshine and his showers
    turns all the patient ground to flowers
    the darling of the world is come
    and fit it is we find him room
    to welcome him, to welcome him
    the nobler part of all the house here
    is the heart which we will give him
    and bequeath this holly and this ivy wreath
    to do him honour who's our king
    and lord of all this revelling

    or (i prefer the choral setting but robin mark has adapted it well):my song is love unknown;

    love divine, all loves excelling

    that said, we used to sing matt redman, here i am a sinner free loads at woodies but ive never heard it elsewhere. likewise his father's song is obviously adoption not marriage but still, precious rare.

    Juices are flowing now, im reminded of I think it's a hymn by wesley, but it's a prayer that i heard ravi read, and it's become v precious to me. I've never heard it set to music.
    o thou who camest from above
    thy pure celestial fire to impart
    kindle a flame of sacred love
    upon the mean alter of my heart
    there let it for thy glory burn
    with inextinguishable blaze
    till trembling to its source return
    in humble prayer and fervent praise
    jesus confirm my hearts' desire
    to live and speak and think for thee
    but not neglect thy holy fire
    and still stir up thy gift in me..."

  6. my song is love unknown
    my saviour's love to me
    love to the loveless shown
    that they might lovely be
    but who am i, that for my sake
    my love should take fail flesh and die?

    choral setting's way better.

  7. Whether He Loves Me or one of those, we need songs that can impress something of the love of God on our hearts, and express how it is to be loved.

  8. For info:

  9. ha nice little plug of the book ;) will let you know if i get anywhere with a song!

  10. Thanks Jez. I do really like the song - and we need more that express the same sort of thing.

  11. This song could be used more:

    Jesus loves the church,
    He gave Himself for His bride.
    He knows what we will be,
    A conquering army,
    An unblemished people.
    We're accepted, we're forgiven,
    We're united with Him;
    Not rejected, not forgotten,
    Not abandoned in sin.

    Can you hear Him singing,
    ‘I love you, I love you’?
    Can you hear Him calling,
    ‘I want you, I have chosen you to be Mine’?

    Jesus loves the church,
    His passion through the ages.
    Hell will not prevail.
    He builds us together,
    A living temple.
    We're accepted, we're forgiven,
    We're united with Him;
    Not rejected, not forgotten,
    Not abandoned in sin

  12. Good song! Thought initially I didn't know it but Youtube corrected it that. Not one we sing very often.

  13. Chris, we sing 'O thou who camest from above' (see here), which is indeed Wesley, though tune Hereford not great.

    Wesley's 'O Jesus, full of truth and grace,
    more full of grace than I of sin' is definitely on a Hosea theme.

    And of course, use the psalter! (And then you don't get such conspicuous gaps in your song-book?) Psalm 45 - the Scots and Irish presbies have it modern metrical.