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.
An old Irish hymn, the original text of “Be Thou My Vision,” is attributed to Saint Dallan Forgaill in the sixth century. Originally a prayer of protection from the dangers of feudal life among the kingdoms of early Christian Ireland, its earliest lyrics included petitions such as, “Be thou my whole Armor, my soul’s Shelter. Be thou my Breastplate, my Sword for the fight.”
Our devotions this week have asked, “What happens when we don’t entrust ourselves wholly into the providence of the source and keeper of our faith?” In its current form and paired with a lilting Irish melody, this lovely hymn is a soaring testament to how faith can absolutely sing, when we do just that: “Thou and thou only, the first in my heart, great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.”
Our Father, who art in heaven, THINE is the kingdom. We entrust our hearts, our thoughts, our waking and our sleeping, to you our light and our vision, to you alone. Amen.