Be Thou My Vision
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.
Great hymns have wonderful lyrics and great melodies, but they also have something more. In the best hymns, the words and music simply belong together, completely and happily married, and calling us in to the feast they host.
The final verse takes us to the heaven where we will see God face to face. And beginning from the hymn's very first line, it tells us this future has already begun. It invites us to share in the courage, confidence, and joy that spring from knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
And this hymn doesn't just speak good news; it sings—even dances it! The melody moves freely, with easy grace, in waltz time. This sort of music sets us in motion, whirling round and out in every direction, surrounded by more and more dancers. This tune never seems to end, because we just can't stop humming it. It keeps making God's vision our own, transfiguring the world and our daily lives.
Gracious God, be thou my vision, both this day and this night. Give me eyes to see Christ in the neighbor, ears to hear your love's refrain, and feet to dance—following your lead. Amen.