Timothy Dwight, the author of the hymn, “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord,” was an amazing man. He is best known as the President of Yale University. Yale has had many presidents in three centuries, but only a few have been memorable. Timothy Dwight was one of those few. He came to a university that had strayed far from its religious roots and he initiated a great religious revival there.
But Dwight was more than a college president. During the Revolutionary War, he served as Chaplain of the First Connecticut Brigade of the Continental Army. He was also a successful farmer, and a member of the Connecticut state legislature.
While at Yale, Dwight wrote the hymn, “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord.” He was so influential, in part, because he was passionate about his faith, and his passion comes through in the words of this hymn. In it he speaks of his love for God’s kingdom — and of his tears shed for the kingdom, and of his prayers prayed for the kingdom. He says that he prizes the kingdom even above his “highest joy.” He speaks of Jesus as his “friend divine.”
It is no wonder that a man so passionate about Jesus would have such influence. We might learn from that. Dwight was a brilliant man. There have been many brilliant people, but few who made such a difference. I believe that Dwight made a difference because of his deep faith and his passion for Jesus. Those are things that lie within the grasp of each of us — deep faith and a passion for Jesus. We each have the opportunity to make a difference — to influence lives — to leave the world a better place than we found. Let Christ lead you into a deep and passionate faith, and you will be amazed at what he can do with your life.
— Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan