All For Love’s Sake

Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love’s sake becamest poor.

Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man;
Stopping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man.

Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship thee.
~Frank Houghten

When Emily asked for reflections on Christmas music, I immediately thought of this hymn.  I often get the lyrics stuck in my head around Christmas time, mostly because the words befuddle me.

I can’t imagine riches beyond all splendor.  I can however, imagine getting up tomorrow and trudging off to work again to hopefully make enough to keep the lights and the heat on and the bank off my back for another month.

Similarly, I can’t imagine sapphire-paved courts.  (Even the richest of celebrities, athletes, and business people don’t have sapphire-paved courts.)  I can however, imagine a pile of dishes in my sink and a mysterious motor oil stain on my carpet.  (Don’t ask!)  Having said that, I would kick and scream if I had to trade my linoleum for the dirt floor of a stable, or sacrifice my morning cup of coffee.

Jesus left all the riches and perfection of heaven to stoop down to earth and live amongst us sinners.  That measure of sacrifice just bewilders me.

This hymn brings up so many questions in my mind, yet thankfully answers a few of them.

Why would someone sacrifice so much?
“All for love’s sake”

Is there some purpose for this grand sacrifice?
“Sinners raising heavenwards”

Is this really supposed to work?
“Thine eternal plan”

How is this plan going to work?
“Make us what thou wouldst have us be”

And finally, what do we do in response to someone who has sacrificed so much for us?
“Savior and King, we worship thee”

~Nicole Moore

 

 

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One thought on “All For Love’s Sake

  1. Thank you for that reflection. This song was written by Frank Houghten who was the director of the China Inland Mission [now O.M.F.] during the time frame of the deportation of the missionaries from China. Many were put under house arrest some put to death. As missionaries Gordon & Vera Dunn, who went through this, stated “We never felt that it was a sacrifice to follow Christ it was a privilege”

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