The first time I heard the song How He Loves at a college chapel, I was both mesmerized and skeptical. I was drawn in by the very first words and surprised that a worship song could be so poetic. Sure, like most people I was startled by the phrase, “heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,” but on further inspection of resurrection theology, I found it to be completely theologically and poetically appropriate.
What I was less sure about was the chorus, which just repeats “how he loves us.” At the time I was studying worship arts and my classes had taught us to be skeptical about me-centered worship songs. I understood what they meant since so many songs out there are personal songs that borderline on the worship of self with feel-good messages, but I wasn’t too hardcore on this rule. After all, many of the Psalms in the Bible worship God through the lens of relationship, and there’s no relationship without the use of a “me” or a “we.” But How He Loves was so-in-your face personal, that I thought maybe this was the song that crossed the line.
So where did I land on it? Ask my congregation. I don’t know that I’ve told them out loud, but I’m pretty sure they know it’s my favorite worship song of all time. Even when it’s not on my setlist, it tends to come up spontaneously. I can’t help it. It’s the worship song of worship songs for me.
As I continued to listen to it and sing it, I began to realize that while the lyrics certainly had a me-focus, it’s incredible poetry elevated God’s love to a level I’ve never heard another song reach. It made his love incalculable in all of its infiniteness. It didn’t bring me to a place of self-worship, but to a place of throne-room-awe. To think that the God of the universe is this kind of love and that I’m soaked in it? Now that will bring you to your knees in worship and gratitude.
It’s this kind of love that has captured the heart of the Bible writers and Christians throughout the ages. Paul himself waxes poetic about God’s love saying, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This was a message Paul’s audience needed to hear, because to be a Christian in his context meant to risk one’s life. But it doesn’t matter what kind of things try to get between Christians and Jesus. Be it cosmic powers or governmental persecution, there is nothing on this green earth or the stars above that can separate us from God’s great love. And that’s a love worth singing about.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Romans 8:31-39 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net. Below are the various AI-created pictures I typed into existence via Mid Journey to mock up artwork for today’s post.