In the early centuries of the church, there was a serious dispute regarding Jesus’ divinity—whether Jesus was, in fact, God or merely human. The Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) settled the matter, stating unequivocally that Jesus was fully divine. The Nicene Creed grew out of the findings of that council. This is part of what the Nicene Creed has to say about Jesus:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius was born in Spain a few years after the Council of Nicea. He became a successful lawyer and statesman, but retired to a life of poverty in his later years so that he could devote those years to writing Christian poetry.
This hymn, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” was one of his poems. He wrote it to express his faith that Jesus is, indeed, divine—the Son of God—not like the rest of us, who are children of God, but uniquely the Son of God— begotten by the Father’s love—the Alpha and Omega—the beginning and end —evermore and evermore.
In this hymn, Prudentius calls us to praise Jesus, our God and king. He says:
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring,
Evermore and evermore.
Let us do what Prudentius asked of us. Let us lift our voices in the singing of this hymn of praise.
NOTE: Check the words in your hymnal to insure that they correspond to the above words. If not, adapt your hymn introduction as needed.
— Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan