Sunday Hymn: And Can It Be That I Should Gain

I haven’t read, nor do I intend to read 50 Shades of Grey.  I have read the buzz about the movie and the book.  I have read reviews and commentary.   And, it breaks my heart to think that anything that would glorify violence against women, that would qualify it as loving or sexy has been so widely received and read by so many women!

Having been on the receiving end of domestic violence may make me a bit extra sensitive in this case.  Having had hands hurt me and words pierce my heart and shatter my being like skillfully sharpened arrows I’ll admit that I get a bit defensive when I see anything that promotes degradation as a form of love.  Doesn’t matter if it’s religion, social media, entertainment or conversation that wants to package it as tolerable, wrong is wrong.  Abuse in any form is NOT love!

We as humans crave love.  Women especially.  We want that protector!  We want that man who will fight for us till his last breath, who will honor us and be true.  Disney continues to make millions based on those very tenants.  We are wired to be loved!  And the beautiful news is this: We Are Loved!  Unconditionally, irrevocably, against all odds–LOVED.  Proactively, tenderly, powerfully LOVED!

Charles Wesley, hymn writer and preacher of old penned these words to our throw-back Sunday hymn way back in 1738.  A hymn that is so rich in the story of a Savior’s love that made Mr. Wesley stand in awe.  Now this is a love worth writing about, one worth singing about, one worth reading about and above all, one worth receiving and living out to the world around us who may think that love is 50 shades of grey instead of bathed in the light of Jesus Christ.  May you be reminded of His great love for you, right where you are, just as you are, through the words of this old and beautiful hymn:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

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