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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most exciting things for me in my work as my synod's Director for Evangelical Mission is when a congregation gets excited about a new sense of mission--when congregation leaders have carefully listened to their community and God in order to find some direction and vision. When this happens new life fills the community. Without a vision it is impossible to know where we are going. With a vision, the community changes and the world around it does too.
"Be though my vision, O Lord of my heart...waking or sleeping thy presence my light," the hymn writer proclaims in an honest cry for the Lord God to be the one who directs one's mission. To me this is where we as members of the body of Christ need to begin and end. With Christ, in Christ and from Christ we go--to our friends, neighbors and those we don't know we go.
Leading God, we seek your presence. Direct our way, our coming, our going, our living. Lead us Lord and when our vision becomes other than you, bring us back and fill us yet again with your love in our life. Amen.