Love’s Wide Embrace (song)

Love’s Wide Embrace

1, 4.  We have been called.
We have been called to celebrate
Our home here in love’s wide embrace.
To bear in mind.
To bear in mind all that we share;
To join the song of love’s good ways.
Halleluya, we have been called
to join the song of love’s good ways.

2.  We have been held.
We have been held in tender care
As we lay wounded by the road.
Receiving grace.
Receiving healing at the hands
Of strangers with the face of God.
Halleluya, we have been healed
by strangers with the face of God.

3.  We have been sent.
We have been sent and gladly go
to stand where borders must be crossed.
To challenge powers,
To challenge powers, to welcome all,
Embracing love’s full joys and costs.
Halleluya, we have been sent
embracing love’s full joys and costs.

Words and music by Bret Hesla.
Written on commission for Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis.
© 2019 Bret Hesla. All rights reserved. Use with permission, please.
Licensed via, Contact:
Piano: Tom Witt;
Vocals: Bret Hesla (lead), Rebekah Moir, Martha Schwen-Bardwell, Cathy Pino, Nate Crary, Paul Andress, Ray Makeever, Chris Tripolino

Notes: Loves Wide Embrace

This song is based on the mission statement for Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota–“we are called nurtured and sent to celebrate, serve and do justice.” Verse Two alludes to the Good Samaritan parable, taking the insight of Rev. Dr. Asa Lee of Wesley Theological Seminary, who was teaching at Holden Village when our congregation was there last summer. Dr. Lee, as I heard it, stressed that to find the compassion to work for justice, we need to identify not with the Samaritan nor with the priest, but rather with the injured and robbed victim, the traveler who received the love and help of the Samaritan. When we can notice those experiences in our lives, we can find the will to work for justice, to give as we’ve received.

This hymn is mainly intended to be sung as a congregational song. But you could also perform it as a choir anthem. In which case, you might do: v1 solo, v2: sopranos melody, ATB hum parts, v3: SATB, then instrumental break, with something like flute or cello on the melody, then ending with v1: unison all.


ps. For another song based on the OSLC mission statement, check out the Our Saviour’s Rouser. A completely different feel — cue the marching band.

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