Dearest Jesus, at Your Word (ELW 520)
1 Dearest Jesus, at your word
we have come again to hear you;
let our thoughts and hearts be stirred
and in glowing faith be near you
as the promises here given
draw us wholly up to heaven.
2 All our knowledge, sense, and sight
lie in deepest darkness shrouded
till your Spirit breaks the night,
filling us with light unclouded.
All good thoughts and all good living
come but by your gracious giving.
3 Radiance of God’s glory bright,
Light of Light from God proceeding,
Jesus, send your blessed light;
help our hearing, speaking, heeding,
that our prayers and songs may please you,
as with grateful hearts we praise you.
4 Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
praise to you and adoration!
Grant us what we need the most;
all your gospel’s consolation
while we here on earth await you,
till in heav’n with praise we greet you.
This hymn was written in 1633 by Tobias Clausnitzer, a chaplain and preacher in Leipzig, Germany. It was written during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). It was a difficult time with long suffering and poverty caused by the endless war. Thus, the hymn was written to lift people up and to encourage them in their faith. In the midst of their darkness, they were encouraged to sing of God’s light. That’s what we do as well. In this season of Epiphany, we sing light into the darkness. The shadows of unrest, poverty, and endless wars haunt our world as well. So we pray, “Grant us what we need the most; all your gospel’s consolation.” May our words and our songs lift each other up so that we reflect the radiance of God’s glory in our presence with one another.
Almighty and ever-living God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and love; and that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.