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Love song

My son is love unknown...

In 1664, the English clergyman Samuel Crossman poured his own experience of rejection and faith into a celebration of what God went through on our behalf - through the rejection, suffering and death of Jesus. That the story ends with the victory of resurrection is the ultimate vindication of that unique love, which Crossman and others find in Jesus.

Like other classic hymns, this one was long in gestation. Having started life as a poem, following Crossman's death in 1683 it was set to music and incorporated into the formal liturgy of the Anglican Church. Over 200 years later, in 1919, the words were adopted for a new hymn book, whose editors asked hymn-writer John Ireland to compose a new tune for it. Within minutes the job was done!

It is amazing how he interplay of tragedy and triumph, raw physical experience and rich spiritual significance, global redemption and personal salvation, transcendence and intimacy all find room in this brief elegy. Worth savouring! So, take a moment in church today to read over the hymn meditatively. For a more emotional experience, quietly hum the tune while you do...



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