Here is the text from the hymn Juan sang at Charlie’s retirement party.
(May be sung to the tune of Jerusalem, C.H.H. Parry, 1916)
O holy Love, you’ve always been,
Long before our rise and sin,
Content within your joint embrace
Before the dawn of time and space.
You had no need for human praise
To fill your courts and warm your days.
For you yourself are Family,
Eternal love, the Trinity.
And yet you formed us for your heart,
Dust, yet called by Love apart:
Formed through the Son, to God’s delight,
And given breath by Spirit’s might.
And when your warning word we spurned
Yet still your love could not be turned.
Our crime: Your image to deface.
Your plan: To glorify your grace.
Your zeal, dear Son, drove you to say,
“Father, I, as man, obey.”
With steady heart you kept his word
When every other son demurred.
Then toward the cross you set your face,
The blight of evil to erase;
Alone in darkness there you cried,
Your Father’s justice to abide.
Your zeal, O Father, stretched your arm
Drawing your Son from hell and harm;
Your love then raised him from the dead,
Declared with pride that he is Head.
He is the prince of your delight
Ascended to the highest height
Once loved from all eternity
The one to whom we bow the knee.
O, Spirit, raising Jesus’ fame
Joyful whene’er we own his Name;
You cry out, “Abba”, as we cry,
Your joy to lift the Father high;
You write God’s law upon our hearts,
You make complete what he imparts:
O, self-effacing God, content
The Son and Father to present.
We stand transfixed by what we see:
Love within the Trinity.
Your love that needs no love from us,
The self-regarding sons of dust.
But you have kindly brought us in,
The Father’s own, the Son’s dear kin.
Your Spirit’s witness draws us home,
The cross assures we’re not alone!
Oh, help us love with your great love!
Make our joy like yours above!
May all who know us gladly view
All things made one at last in you!
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Praise him, all creatures, here below!
Praise him, above, ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
© Rev. Charles D. Drew 2006