One of my favorite things to do is read thru hymnbooks. Quirky? Yes. But there it is. I also really enjoy re-writing hymns - we're doing what I think is a pretty fun version of Just As I Am at Torch these days; of course, I'm biased, since I wrote it. :) As I was looking for a hymn to rewrite, I stumbled across this one, and I love the words:
My God, Accept My Heart This Day
words by Matthew Bridges (1800-1894) / original tune by William James (1726-1800)
My God, accept my heart this day, and make it always thine,
That I from Thee no more may stray, no more from Thee decline.
Before the cross of Him who died, behold, I prostrate fall
Let every sin be crucified, let Christ be all in all.
Anoint me with Thy heavenly grace, adopt me for Thine own,
That I may see Thy glorious face, and worship at Thy throne.
Let every thought, and work, and word, to Thee be ever given;
Then life shall be Thy service, Lord, and death the gate of heaven.
Granted, the theology of that last verse is a little questionable (death will be the gate of heaven by grace, not by works, and one could argue that we're already living into that not-yet reality tho we're still here now...) but hey, it's hard to rhyme much with "given." :)
I really love that first verse, because it gets at a reality I don't always live into - that our acceptance is based on God's favor and not our own merit - and is guaranteed because He said it was. Not straying, not declining - left to our devices, we would stray and decline, no matter how much willpower we put into it (I dislike that intensely about myself) - but by grace, we are empowered to live in a way that keeps us on God's narrow way.
We sang a song last night that I've loved for ages - Steve Fee's Madly - and the chorus says, "I'm madly in love with you." I sang it pretty objectively. I am madly in love with God - I wouldn't be walking this walk if I wasn't - but I didn't feel like I was madly in love... but I suppose we don't, always - feel it, that is. Doesn't make it less true, tho... I'm pretty sure.
(HT: ASBO Jesus)
Sometimes it amazes me that we can very authentically say all three of those things at the same time... but I love it that we can...