In Faith, Life and Spirituality, More Than Music Mentor

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.

Showing 4 comments
  • missionsgirl

    I really appreciate that new verse, and your rendition of it over all. Good food for thought for sure. I’ve been challenged quite a bit on this lately-am I really loving the people around me? I could say a lot more about it, but I’d start to ramble, and should probably write something for my own blog on this. God bless.

    • grantnorsworthy

      Thanks for your comment missionsgirl. A question that we should all be asking ourselves all the time, I’d say.

  • Amy Faith

    This verse cut me to the heart! It’s tragic that we often narrow the Gospel down to getting a ticket to heaven when we die and Sunday rituals. Yet Jesus’ main message was The Kingdom and His example was often in the way He loved some of the most broken people! I often wonder, if some of the people Jesus hung out with walked into our churches, how would we react? Do we even realize that it is through these moments of grace and loving the least that we are actually worshipping God? This song challenges me to think about these things deeper! Thanks for sharing it!

    • Grant

      Amen Amy. (Sorry for the slow reply)

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