231. How Great Is the Love of the Father

Text Information
First Line: How great is the love of the Father
Title: How Great Is the Love of the Father
Versifier: Edna W. Sikkema (1986)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 97 97 with repeat
Scripture: 1 John 3:1-3; 1 John 3:3
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Love: God's Love to Us; Return of Christ (2 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: James C. Ward (1985)
Meter: 97 97 with repeat
Key: C Major
Copyright: © 1987, Music Anno Domini (A.D.). All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = 1 John 3:1
st. 2 = 1 John 3:1, 3
st. 3 = 1 John 3:2

In his first letter to early Christian believers, the apostle John writes an exposition on righteousness and love as essential requirements for Christian living. In the midst of this exposition we find I John 3: 1-3, a declaration of awe and praise for God's wondrous grace in making us his children. Based on this passage, "How Great Is the Love of the Father" describes how we become children of God (st. 1); how we should live as children of God (st. 2); and what we shall become in glory as children of God (st. 3).

Edna W. Sikkema (b. Grijpskerk, Groningen, the Netherlands, 1931; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 1994) prepared this versification specifically for the tune ANNO DOMINI in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal. After working as a registered nurse, Sikkema graduated from Calvin College, Grand Rapids. She received her M.A. in 1965 from Ohio State University, and completed additional studies in Germany and the Netherlands. On the faculty of Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, and later Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, Sikkema taught German, Dutch, and linguistics. After 1975 she returned to a career in health care and in real estate.

Liturgical Use:
For baptism, as a funeral hymn, and for many points in the order of worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

James C. Ward (PHH 56) originally composed ANNO DOMINI (1985) for the Psalter Hymnal versification of Psalm 11, but the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee chose instead to use the tune as a setting for the versification of 1 John 3: 1-3–the childlike simplicity of this tender tune is just right for this text. Ward, a professional composer and performer, named the tune after his booking agency in Grand Rapids, which takes its name from the Latin phrase meaning "in the year of the Lord." On Ward's record¬ing Blue Believer, he sang the final three words of this song an octave higher than written, providing a joyful ending. Sing ANNO DOMINI in unison, and use other instruments for accompaniment: handbells, Orff xylophones, guitar, and piano.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)