While I know that Methodism has a strong emphasis on a sacramental theology I was still surprised by the numbers of Holy Communion hymns. It takes a number of songs to even begin to tackle all the images, perspectives, and power of the Eucharist. This Sunday we'll gather at the table again and be drawn into our own experience of the past, present, and future of God's salvation through Jesus Christ. The following Charles Wesley hymn stood out for me in my preparations.
Sinners, obey the gospel-word!
Haste to the supper of my Lord!
Be wise to know your gracious day;
All things are ready, come away!
Ready the Father is to own
And kiss his late-returning son;
Ready your loving Saviour stands,
And spreads for you his bleeding hands.
Ready the Spirit of his love
Just now the stony to remove,
To apply, and witness with the blood,
And wash and seal the sons of God.
Ready for you the angels wait,
To triumph in your blest estate;
Tuning their harps, they long to praise
The wonders of redeeming grace.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Is ready, with their shining host:
All heaven is ready to resound,
"The dead's alive! the lost is found!"
Come then, ye sinners, to your Lord,
In Christ to paradise restored;
His proffered benefits embrace,
The plenitude of gospel grace:
A pardon written with his blood,
The favour and the peace of God;
The seeing eye, the feeling sense,
The mystic joys of penitence;
The godly grief, the pleasing smart,
The meltings of a broken heart,
The tears that tell your sins forgiven,
The sighs that waft your souls to heaven;
The guiltless shame, the sweet distress,
The unutterable tenderness,
The genuine, meek humility,
The wonder, "Why such love to me"
The o'erwhelming power of saving grace,
The sight that veils the seraph's face;
The speechless awe that dares not move,
And all the silent heaven of love.