Hymn-Theology: Kiss a Guilty World In Love

“Grace and love, like mighty rivers

Poured incessant from above

Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice

Kissed a guilty world in love.”

Willilam Rees & Robert Lowry – “Here is Love”

Have you considered the stanza from the hymn “Here is Love” that contains the line “kissed a guilty world in love?”

When I first heard this hymn sung by Fernando Ortega from the CD “Night of Your Return,” I was amazed by the lyrics. That stanza continually ran through to my mind.

That was 1995.  Yesterday, I was made aware of a new version by Re:SOUND.org through their pre-launch free download. As soon as I saw the chord chart, the track from Fernando ran in my mind.  I wanted to get my guitar and learn it–and QUICK!

My original thoughts were gladness to find a hymn that I know with chords I can actually play on guitar, but as the day progressed, that stanza came back to me:  kissed a guilty world in love.

Here are my thoughts about the imagery from this line:

A kiss is intimate.  A kiss is passionate.  To kiss a guilty world is would be like kissing a dirty, smelly bum.  It’s an act of love.  We, as the world, are the recipient of that action:  kiss.  Also it is past tense:  kissed; meaning, it was already done.

Have you ever gotten in an argument with your spouse and five minutes later they want a kiss?  What’s your response?  Mine is (I hate to admit) is to withdraw affection, to withdraw myself, to withdraw from intimacy.

But Christ didn’t do that.  No.  In our guilt, in our sin, in a state of condemnation (John 3:17-18) He came and demonstrated His love toward us.

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:19

We love Himbecause He first loved us.

For Thought & Discussion:

  • What are your thoughts about this stanza?
  • Are there any other verses that back up this hymn theologically?
  • Have you used this song lately?  Have you explained it?

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by kozumel

5 thoughts on “Hymn-Theology: Kiss a Guilty World In Love”

  1. I really want to sing Fernando’s version of this song as a special at church. I love that same phrase, but even more are the last words of the song, “come kiss this guilty world in love” brings tears to my eyes, as I am guilty and dirty like the bum you mentioned, yet He loves us, He loves me, and these words are a re-invitation for Him.

    1. Amen! What a blessing Fernando Ortega has been to those of us who did not grow up in church learning hymns.

      I love that line as well “kiss this guilty world in love.”

      It’s an awesome song.

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