*God’s Words. Our Voice: Singing the Songs of Faith – February 4, 2018

Feb 04, 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.


Lord of Light,  ELW 688, stanza 2


By the toll of faithful workers in some far outlying field,

by the courage where the radiance of the cross is still revealed,

by the victories of meekness, through reproach and suffering won;

Father, as in highest heaven, so on earth your will be done.


The text uses a petition from the Lord’s Prayer as its refrain: Matthew 6: 10:  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  The verses were constructed by Howell E. Lewis from a hymn by Charlotte Elliot.  Elliot’s text focused on resigning to God’s will, while Lewis emphasized active participation in the divine purpose (Westermeyer, 2010: 543-4).  This distinction is especially evident in the second stanza, where some of the ways in which we can be involved in the will of God are laid out.

The tune, ABBOT’S LEIGH, was written by Cyril V. Taylor on a Sunday morning in 1941 in the English village of that name. He wrote it for the text, “Glorious things of thee are spoken,” the tune of which (AUSTRIA) had been co-opted by the Nazis (Westermeyer, 2010: 357).