One of the great joys of my job is the time it affords me to participate in group Bible studies. It is a real privilege to gather on Monday evenings with young adults from several churches across Leamington Spa and the surrounding villages to study God’s Word. It is a joy to meet with several members from both my congregations on a Friday night to worship, pray and study Scripture together.
Each week people bring different reflections and thoughts to our worship, prayer and study. It was my turn to lead worship last Monday and we were thinking about the call of Abraham later in the evening. As I was praying and reflection on the life of Abraham one question kept coming back to me: why did God call Abram?
I mean on the face of it he’s not a courageous leader or great husband, he gives his wife away… twice, he doesn’t trust God to bring about what he has promised and then he abdicates responsibility rather than dealing with the conflict between Hagar and Sarah. Yet, God still chose him. As I wondered about this I suddenly thought why does God choose any of us?
I found the answer in Ephesians: ‘and you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness to us in Christ Jesus.’
That brought me to Stuart Townsend’s hymn: Loved before the dawn of time. This beautiful hymn draws us into the captivating grace of God who called us in Christ before the world began. Very few songs or hymns express the wonder of God who has chosen us before the foundation of the world to make known the glory of His grace. Yet, this is at the heart of God’s purpose in our salvation.
So I commend this hymn to you:
Loved before the dawn of time,
Chosen by my Maker,
Hidden in my Saviour,
I am His and He is mine,
Cherished for eternity.
Stars will fade and mountains fall,
Christ will shine forever,
Loves unfading splendour,
Earth and heaven will bow in awe,
Joining in salvation’s song.