May, 2014: Be Thou My Vision
Our May Hymn of the Month is Hymn # 642 in the Trinity Hymnal, "Be Thou my Vision". A well-known song to most believers in our tradition--but did you know it is more than one thousand years old? Here is our Sanctuary Choir singing it for you
Dates can sometimes make our eyes gloss over, but the historical context in which a worship song comes about can enrich our understanding....so here are some dates for ya!
The original poetry dating back to the 6th century was written in old Irish. Our modern text is a 1912 adaptation of the English translation.The tune of this hymn is the Irish folk song "Slane". The text and tune were paired in the Irish Church Hymnal in 1919.
Having been told that there is no where we can hide from God, our son, Xander, has recently been cataloging all the places God is: "Did you know that God is in this macaroni and cheese?" "Did you know that God is in this closet?" "Did you know that God is in Mommy's phone?"
Perhaps singing "Be Thou my Vision" with our kids will help parents, like us, trying to explain omnipresence while avoiding polytheistic misconceptions? The text can be found by following this link:
One line that can be difficult to paraphrase is "Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art"--thank you, internets, for your help with this one! "Be nothing else to me other than what You by nature are: Lord of Your creation.” and "He is the great I AM of scripture, this is reality! He is God and everything else is less in comparison. He is I AM, now and forever, nothing can change this fact."
More in Hymn of the Month
June 1, 2014June, 2014: O Church, Arise
May 8, 2014May, 2014: Be Thou My Vision
April 1, 2014April, 2014: I know that my Redeemer lives, Glory Hallelujah