Love Incarnate (1997)

Unity Series 244 (publ. 1999)
Duration: approx. 3:30

"I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love"
 Hosea 11:4

I guess there is a time in everybody’s life where we experience something quite out of the ordinary. 

I recall one particular incident in my life where I saw God’s love in other people – most of who were everyday, non-believing folks. To me that was - and still  is astonishing, startling, miraculous even. The incident reminded me that human beings are made in God's image, and therefore there is a little bit of his likeness in us all.  I like the saying that goes 'it's not that there is a bit of good in everybody.  But actually there is a bit of God in everybody'.

Official Unity Series Recording

Love Incarnate.mp3

After that event the words of an old hymn Blest be the tie that binds and its tune (which Salvationists know as  Dennis) were somehow in my mind - constantly. I looked at John Fawcett's words and felt compelled to write my own setting of his song.

As you listen to this music may we be reminded of the words. May Jesus be your example for daily living.  May we all be vessels of God’s love – Love Incarnate.  

1. Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

2. Before our Father's throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.  

3. We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathising tear.

4. From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

John Fawcett (1740-1817)
SA Songbook 660 (Tune: Dennis TB 165) 

In the opening bars you will hear a line of notes that begins with the cornets and descends lower and lower in pitch until the tubas join in the sixth bar.  The falling line of notes represents the tie or cord of love that binds human hearts.  A tenor horn takes the second verse and reminds us of a lone person kneeling before the throne of God.  Baritones, Trombones and Euphoniums take the third verse which speaks of unity and the sharing of each other's life experiences.

A key change gives a feeling of hope as we move into the last verse and consider the hope of Heaven - where will no longer have to seek out love and kindness in those around us, for it will be everywhere.

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