Matthew 17:1-9; John 1:1-13; Isaiah 60:1
Text and Tune: Graham Kendrick (1950--)
1. Lord, the light of your love is shining In the midst of the darkness, shining Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us Set us free by the truth you now bring us Shine on me, shine on me
R/Shine, Jesus, shine Fill this land with the Father's glory Blaze, Spirit, blaze Set our hearts on fire Flow, river, flow Flood the nations with grace and mercy Send forth your word Lord, and let there be light.
2. Lord, I come to your awesome presence From the shadows into your radiance By the blood I may enter your brightness Search me, try me, consume all my darkness Shine on me, shine on me
3. As we gaze on your kingly brightness So our faces display your likeness Ever changing from glory to glory Mirrored here may our lives tell your story Shine on me, shine on me
DEAREST JESUS, AT YOUR WORD
Danish: Søde Jesus, vi er her
German: Liebster Jesus, wir sind hier
Norwegian: Søte Jesu, vi er her
Text: Tobias Clausnitzer (1619-1684) Tune: Johann R. Ahle (1625-1673)
1 Dearest Jesus, at your word We have come again to hear you; Let our thoughts and hearts be stirred And in glowing faith be near you As the promises here given Draw us wholly up to heaven.
2 All our knowledge, sense, and sight Lie in deepest darkness shrouded Till your Spirit breaks the night, Filling us with light unclouded. All good thoughts and all good living Done but by your gracious giving.
3 Radiance of God's glory bright, Light of Light from God proceeding, Jesus, send your blessed light; Help our hearing, speaking, heeding, That our prayers and songs may please you, As with grateful hearts we praise you.
4 Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Praise to you and adoration! Grant us what we need the most; All your gospel's consolation While we here on earth await you, Till in heav'n with praise we greet you. Tr. Catherine Winkworth
MEDITATION The light shines brighter in the darkest time than it does when there is more light around. That is a truth to remember just now. Darkness hates the light, but it cannot overcome the light if it cannot extinguish it. And the light of the world, Jesus, will not be extinguished. He is after all one with God almighty.
Our second hymn, a venerable one, prays that in the service, we will be given the gift to see and hear the light of Christ. We know that this prayer is fundamental to worship. Without such a prayer, the service can go on without our having one iota of a sense that we are in the presence of the holy. And one does not need a cathedral to sense one is in the presence of God.
It can happen anytime and anywhere, in the meanest situations. There is an old story about two men leaving a regular Sunday service. They were discussing how it went. One thought it had brought him into the presence of the holy, the other that it was a dreary moment, the hymns were dull, the sermon pedestrian, the entire event left him cold. The first one asked the other what he had done before the service, and he replied that he had read the paper, watched the news, and had breakfast. The other noted that during his devotions that morning he had prayed the old Sunday morning prayer, that the Word would be rightly divided and the Gospel be preached to the glory of God. Obviously that prayer had been answered for him.
Such a prayer is important. Instead of praying only for God to help us through difficulties, by all means important, God wants to hear those prayers, we should also pray to be enlightened. From that light, we can become lights for others. Last night at our Bible study we asked each other about moments we had had when we got an urging, a message, of some kind that gave us an idea about something we might do to help another. It was something of a holy moment as we heard one in our midst tell a story about being prompted to help a friend of hers with a very simple thing: she could play Chinese checkers with her friend’s husband, who, although suffering from Alzheimers, was still able to play games. It frees up her friend to get some work done, spelling her and giving her rest. A very simple thing. But so shining with light it stopped us for a bit.
As the Kendrick hymn has it, "Shine, Jesus, Shine." Not only so we can show others his glory in the small things, but also the nations. Listen for that whisper opening your vision to the light.
HYMN INFO Graham Kendrick is the son of a Baptist pastor in England. He has been a fixture in the contemporary Christian scene for years. This hymn is at the top of favorites. Also a prayer, it can be sung at any time. We all need to be praying that Jesus shine for us but also for the nations.
Clausnitzer was a pastor during the Thirty Years War in the heart of Saxony. He became the chaplain for the Swedish troops in 1644 and preached a sermon in the Thomas Church in Leipzig on the accession of Queen Christina to the Swedish throne. In 1649 he was named pastor of Weiden where he served until his death. His hymn for today became a very common hymn before the sermon, used in many congregations in the past almost as much as Holy, Holy, Holy. It was first published in Altdorffisches Gesang-Buchlein, 1663.
Ahle, the composer, was a contemporary and well regarded, but we know little about him. Bach used the tune in several of his works.
SHINE, JESUS, SHINE
Graham Kendrick singing his song
Kirchenband, Oldenburg Germany https://youtu.be/BkxoTmKpDcU
Don Moen https://youtu.be/4UIR0VJlK6k
DEAREST JESUS AT YOUR WORD Journey songs https://youtu.be/IhbTXFHv5Uc
Choir singing Bach’s choral arrangement BWV 373 of hymn directed by Helmut Rilling https://youtu.be/VKNcvMcGlvI
Bach’s Chorale Prelude BWV 71 on Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier https://youtu.be/AVqmb_cAeak