Hymn #679 – O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
Even though the days are getting shorter, we still have some lovely mornings for which to thank God! Our opening hymn for Sunday, September 22, #679 O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright, is a ‘morning hymn.’ It’s beautiful text depicts the light of God and his son, Jesus, as a guide for our day and our lives.
The author of this hymn is an early church father from the 4th century, St. Ambrose. Ambrose was a strong defender of the faith. In particular, he helped the church through a controversy called Arianism, which believed that Jesus was not true God. When I sing this hymn, I’m reminded particularly of the phrases from the Nicene Creed (also written during the early years of the Christian church) where Jesus is called “God of God, Light of Light.” Hear how this sentiment is echoed in Stanza 1:
O splendor of God’s glory bright,
O thou that bringest light from light;
O Light of light, light’s living spring,
O day, all days illumining.
As we meditate today on how our we can use our lives to insist on justice in our world, we should keep reminding ourselves to let the Lord and his truth guide our way. Our ideas of justice and fairness are often perverse and tainted by our own biases. God’s Word of light alone is true, and we pray in Stanzas 3-4 that God would make our way just, keep us from envying the fortunes of others, and soften our hearts to forgive:
The Father, too, our prayers implore,
Father of glory evermore;
The Father of all grace and might,
To banish sin from our delight.
To guide whatever we nobly do,
With love all envy to subdue;
To make ill fortune turn to fair,
And give us grace our wrongs to bear.
Lord, thank you for the light of your Son, Jesus. Give us grace to walk in him and his justice. Amen.
Each week Dr. Katie Moss, Organist and Director of Handbells, provides us with a short devotion and closer look at a hymn we’ll sing at the Traditions Worship at 8:45 am.
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