IMMORTAL LOVE–FOREVER FULL
John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807–1892
To know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
Love is Silence—when your words would hurt.
Love is Patience—when your neighbor’s curt.
Love is Deafness—when a scandal flows.
Love is Thoughtfulness—for others’ woes.
Love is Promptness—when stern duty calls.
Love is Courage—when misfortune falls.
The Bible teaches that the three cardinal virtues of the Christian life are faith, hope, love, with love as the greatest (1 Corinthians 13:13). These virtues in a person’s life are the most convincing evidences of a personal relationship with Christ. True faith must always lead to a life of love for God and others. It also gives purpose for this life and the glorious hope of spending eternity with our King of Love. Our love relationship with others should be characterized as sacrificial, sensitive, and sharing. We should relate to people even as Jesus did. He loved individuals simply for themselves and met and accepted them at the place of their personal need.
In 1867 John Greenleaf Whittier, a Quaker and recognized as one of America’s finest poets, wrote a 38 stanza poem titled “Our Master.” This hymn text with its emphasis upon the constancy of God’s immortal love was taken from that poem. It was Whittier who once stated “a good hymn is the best use to which poetry can be directed.” The musical setting by William V. Wallace, a Scottish violinist and composer, was adapted from a longer love song, “Waft, Ye Winds,” written by Wallace in 1856.
Immortal Love—forever full, forever flowing free, forever shared, forever whole, a never ebbing sea!
We may not climb the heav’nly steeps to bring the Lord Christ down; in vain we search the lowest deeps, for Him no depths can drown.
But warm, sweet, tender, even yet a present help is He; and faith has still its Olivet, and love its Galilee.
The healing of His seamless dress is by our beads of pain; we touch Him in life’s throng and press, and we are whole again.
Thru Him the first fond prayers are said our lips of childhood frame; the last low whispers of our dead are burdened with His name.
O Lord and Master of us all, whate’er our name or sign, we own Thy sway, we hear Thy call, we test our lives by Thine!
Psalm 139; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:19
Reflect on the constancy of our Lord’s immortal love as you meditate on this thoughtful hymn text.