*God’s Words. Our Voice: Singing the Songs of Faith – February 11, 2018

Feb 10, 2018

“I am not ashamed to confess publicly that next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music…”    Martin Luther, in a letter (1530) to Catholic composer, Ludwig Senfl

Hymns are often the first way we learn to give voice to our faith as children and even those who are not great singers have favorite hymns that they know by heart.  You are invited to reflect on this stanza in the week ahead.  Use it for prayer, meditation, or in daily devotion.  Our prayer and hope is that these hymn stanzas will lift and deepen your faith and encourage your living of that faith in daily works of love and acts of mercy.

 

Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies,  ELW 553, stanza 3

TUNE:  RATISBON

Visit then this soul of mine,

pierce the gloom of sin and grief;

fill me, radiancy divine,

scatter all my unbelief;

more and more thyself display,

shining to the perfect day.

 

Charles Wesley’s hymn of 1740 contains many biblical references in its linking of the images of Christ and light.  The most notable ones are from Luke 1: 78-79:  By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace, and from Malachi 4: 2:  But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.

The test was paired with the tune RATISBON in 1947.  Though both have been edited and altered over the years, the version used today is the original pairing. (Westermeyer, 2010: 389)  The third stanza continues the plea of the first two that Christ, the light of the world, draw near to us.