Take this link to read Grant’s article as featured in the November issue of Worship…
BE THOU MY VISION
By Grant Norsworthy
My favorite hymn is “Be Thou My Vision”. It’s actually a prayer. I pray this hymn often, but usually, I don’t sing the traditional fourth verse:
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,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all
It’s not that I don’t like that verse. I do like it. It’s poetic, powerful and worth singing. But we have a lot of final verses of hymns that sing about eternity – how everything’s going to be great when we finally “get to heaven” or when Jesus comes again. That’s a good thought. I get it.
But I don’t want to be lulled into a false sense that I just need to wait around for the Second Coming or for God to “call me home” to heaven (a euphemism for dying in case you missed it). I need to sing (and pray) something that reminds me that I have a role to play in God’s Kingdom Come on earth right here right now. That’s why my wife Brooke and I wrote an alternative verse four:
Be my compassion, My love for the poor;
Break my distraction, So I can’t ignore;
The least of your children, The ones you adore;
For by them, Jesus, I worship you Lord.
It’s a Matthew 25:31-46 – The story of the sheep and the goats – reference. Please read the passage. Maybe you’ll see why I think this is a necessary reminder for us all, before we get too focused on eternity.
I made a video for my version of this beautiful old hymn. It may not be your favorite rendition of the song, but it’s the only one I know that features this least-known verse. Watch my lyric video for “Be Thou My Vision” here. I hope it’s meaningful to you.