Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true and only light,
Sun of righteousness, arise,
triumph o'er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
unaccompanied by thee;
joyless is the day's return,
till thy mercy's beams I see,
till they inward light impart,
glad my eyes, and warm my heart.
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.
The first lines of this hymn are wonderfully bold:
"Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true and only light,"
Beautiful! But what can it mean to sing that Christ is the only light? Doesn't light come into our lives from many sources?
The second verse takes us deeper:
"Joyless is the day's return, Til thy mercy's beams I see"
While it is true that light comes to us with each sunrise and in many other ways, what makes it glorious is that it's a gift from a loving God. When God's loving mercy is poured out in Christ, it moves us to turn to the glory of that love, like sunflowers lifting and turning their heads to follow their namesake.
The final verse takes us to mountaintop where we join the disciples, seeing Jesus only and asking:
"Fill me, radiancy divine
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day"
What more is there to say, except to pray?