Be Thou My Vision – A Hymn Story

image

Be Thou My Vision – A Hymn Story

In 433 A. D., the Irish King, Logaire of Tara, had enacted a decree that no one could light candles on the Eve of Easter because it coincided with the Druid Feast of Bealtine and the Spring Eqinox. It was the tradition of these Pagan festivals to observe the “fireless night”, when all fires in Ireland were to be extinguished. On the Hill of Tara, in the presence of the High King, a massive bonfire was lit and from this all other fires were to be lit. This annual spring ritual was said to transform the High King into a God-King. The bonfire on the Hill of Tara was the symbol to all that this God-King was in command of the seasons, and that spring began at his command.

Legend has it that in clear defiance of this Pagan observance, St. Patrick built a Paschal bonfire on he hill of Slane, a Christian strong point located ten miles away from the Pagan Strong Point on the Hill of Tara. Patrick built his fire before the the king of Tara built his. The fire from the Hill of Slane would have been clearly seen from the Hill of Tara, and was a blatant statement that Christ was the only God-King for the Christian. Patrick chose to honor God in spite of how it would threaten his life and the story goes that King Logaire was so impressed by Patrick’s bravery and devotion to Christ that he left him to continue his missionary work in Ireland.

An 8th Century Monk, Dallan Forgaill, penned the words to Be Thou My Vision as a tribute to St. Patrick and his bravery on the Hill of Slane. This hymn was translated from Irish to English in 1905 by Mary E. Byrne and in 1912, Eleanor H. Hull arranged the song into the verse most commonly found in most English hymnals today. The music that accompanies the lyrics is an ancient Irish folk tune called Slane.

This is my tribute to Patrick and to the God he served so faithfully, my rendition of Be Thou My Vision.

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, by day or 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 great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,

May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

<

p style=”text-align:center;”> Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

image

Take the $5.00 Challenge - Make The Record
Take the $5.00 Challenge – Make The Record

Love Our Enemies (A Hymn I’m Writing)

This is a hymn I am writing on Jesus teaching to love our enemies. It’s been difficult to write, probably because it’s difficult to live. I would appreciate your input, and constructive criticism. Lyrics and a link to the lead sheets are below. There are two different versions. One version has a refrain and one does not.

Version One

Lead Sheet: http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/bfe6bde374baf3634692de55d8e14a6d5fc7b6e9

Lyrics:

Lyrics by Rick Lee James

Love Our Enemies

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.

They may seem our adversaries
but are only slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.

When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.

You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.

So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Chorus
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
By the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.

When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Version Two

Lead Sheet for version 2 available at this link: http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/b07d46a46e3fd5cab63d57bf417d81e3fecd1cb1

Lyrics by Rick Lee James

Love Our Enemies (Version 2)

Verse 1
God has made this declaration
through His Son, the Prince of Peace,
that to enter in His Kingdom
we must love our enemies.
They may seem our adversaries
but are only slaves to sin,
so our battle is not with them
who are only hostages

Verse 2
Lord, deliver us from hatred,
prejudice, and cruelty.
Come remove discrimination
that the truth may set us free.
When we look at our reflection
we not only see ourselves
but we see a former captive
whom the grace of God has helped.

Verse 3
Father, show us how to free them
with Your mercy above
for our enemies are brothers
who’ve forgotten how to love.
You have made us in your image,
You’ve redeemed us through Your son.
Gather us into Your Kingdom
where no sword is drawn but love.

Verse 4
Jesus Christ, is our example
showing us the face of God
when He chose to die for sinners
rather than to shed their blood.
So we’ll fight them with affection,
we will conquer them with grace.
May our enemies see Jesus
when they look upon our face

Verse 5
In His time and for His pleasure
pray we all will stand one day
reconciled before the Father
when the old has passed away.
When revenge would cloud our vision
turn our eyes to Calvary
where our Savior died to show us
how to love our enemies.

Ending
Lord and Maker of creation,
every life is dear to Thee
In the holy name of Jesus
help us love our enemies