Be Thou My Vision (ELW 793)
1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art:
thou my best thought both by day and by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tow’r,
raise thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
3 Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise,
thou mine inheritance, now and always:
thou and thou only, the first in my heart,
great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.
4 Light of my soul, after victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Have you ever found yourself in the dark, trying to find your way to safety? When many of us live in well-lit cities or towns, with street lamps or smartphone flashlights to light our way, the darkness may more often be metaphorical. But whether finding our way on a wilderness trail as night descends, or discerning the next phase of our life, we can feel lost and anxious. How did we get here? This seemed like the right way to go at the time.
In the 8th Century Old Irish hymn, “Be Thou My Vision,” we explicitly ask God to light our way. The tune, “Slane,” is aptly named for the hill in County Meath, Ireland, where St. Patrick defied the local pagan lord by lighting an Easter fire. We ask to be oriented to God’s true light instead of money, inheritance, and other vanities that lead us off-track.
God of light, we thank you for the true light of your son, Jesus Christ, to lead us in day or night, and to bring your heavenly domain to earth. Amen