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You are the light of the world - hymns?

OffeiriadOffeiriad Shipmate Posts: 29
Help! I'm urgently trying to find hymns to link with Sunday's RCL Gospel (Matthew 5, v13-20), where we are called upon to be salt and light. So far, almost nothing! (One half decent old hymn, but can't find a tune that works!)

Plenty about Jesus as light of the world, but none about us as the light of the world. My wife is busily knitting one which will certainly be better than nothing, but your suggestions would be welcome! Thank you.
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Comments

  • OffeiriadOffeiriad Shipmate Posts: 29
    Excuse the double-post. Here is the wife's go at the theme: I think it isn't bad!
    (Tune: Ellacombe)

    We are Christ’s light in this dark world
    Driving the dark away,
    Bringing His light upon the lost
    Changing their night to day.
    So let your light forever shine
    Showing the way to go,
    The lost shall find their path to life
    And God’s great love will know.

    We are Christ’s light in this dark world
    Making the clouds depart
    To let the sunshine of His peace
    Flow to the burdened heart.
    So let your light forever shine
    On tired souls seeking rest,
    Bringing new life to those who fear
    As they join with God’s blessed.

    We are Christ’s light in this dark world,
    Through us true light must shine,
    Calling the lost beloved of God
    To know His love divine.
    So let your light forever shine
    In praise of God above
    Like stars across the open sky
    Until all know His love.
    (c) (Mrs Offeiriad)
  • Gracious RebelGracious Rebel Shipmate
    edited February 5
    I can only think of youth/children's songs from long ago 'Jesus bids us shine' and 'Listen to the story of the little candle' (the latter being a little known song from Youth Praise that I have always liked).

    Not suitable for your needs I am sure but just throwing them in for discussion.
  • This Little Light of Mine?
  • Think I'd be more likely to set it to the tune of Noel (it came upon the midnight clear) rather than Ellacombe....
  • DardaDarda Shipmate
    A more recent children's / action song is "I am a city on a hill, I am a light in the darkness, Jesus living in me can change the world". Sorry, no link but you should be able to Google it.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    A noble effort, @Offeiriad particularly at short notice. Please congratulate your wife, and crown.

    There's one point about it though that I'd query, which for me would be fairly important, which is that it doesn't really go 'upwards'. i.e. it doesn't praise or thank God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It doesn't even proclaim that much. It's mainly about us. There's a bit of a flavour that we are patting each other on the back for being good little Christians, and telling anyone who happens to be listening to us how fortunate they are to know us.

    Having the same first line repeat itself in each verse is particularly good, though I think if it had been me, I'd have gone for 'Christ calls us out to be the light'. It would also be possible to get each third line to start with a transitive infinitive as in the middle verse at the moment, so that in the first it would be 'To bring His light upon the lost' and in the third, 'To call the lost beloved of God'. But then, it's her hymn not mine, and this is cheek of the first order.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    A search by scripture text on hymnary.org brings up Marty Haughen’s ’You are the salt of the earth, O people’

    The hymnary.org website will also list the hymnals it appears in and give you the opportunity, for a small fee, to download a flexscore.
  • How about Through the night of doubt and sorrow? I'm not sure which book(s) you use but if they don't have it download from Hymnary (or similar) and sing to the tune Marching.
  • The first thing that came to my mind was David Haas’s We Are Called. It draws primarily on Micah 6:8, and there aren’t salt references, but there are light references, such as “We are called to be light for the kingdom,” and the whole thing is quite consistent with the themes of Matt. 5: 13-20.

    This video of “We Are Called” is a go-to for me when I need a little lifting up.

  • OffeiriadOffeiriad Shipmate Posts: 29
    Thank you all: very constructive and helpful.
  • OffeiriadOffeiriad Shipmate Posts: 29
    Hmm, turns out she was mining ideas from an old hymn to a different metre - she has an idiotically large collection of obscure old hymnbooks. So no copyright! Back to the drawing board.....
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    I've always liked Christ is the world's true light (G.W.Briggs) to a melody by Bach as per the NEH. I feel that as well as talking about Christ as being the light, it is also calling on us all to walk in the light.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    We sang ‘Jesus bids us shine’ last Week and I found it unexpectedly moving. In these dark times, the encouragement to ‘do our bit’ cheered me immensely.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Naturally you'd want to avoid the obvious candidate.

    Coat? Sorry.
  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    edited February 6
    The Spirit lives to set us free?

    Sorry if I'm being obvious.
  • OffeiriadOffeiriad Shipmate Posts: 29
    All interesting suggestions, thank you, but I seem to detect more theological comfort with Christ as the Light than with us being 'the light of the world'. Thinking about it, I've never preached on this passage before in over 40 years Before The Mast, so wrestling with it with a congregation seems overdue (for me anyway: I'll let you know about them after Sunday)!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    This isn't what the text ays grammatically, but isn't the difference?

    - Jesus is the light of the world, whereas we are either,
    - called to be the light of the world, or,
    - the light of the world only because we are in him, and to the extent that we are.
  • OffeiriadOffeiriad Shipmate Posts: 29
    You've been reading my sermon! That's not fair!
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    I keep thinking of the song from Godspell.
  • Light of the world you stepped down into darkness" (Here I am to worship)

    The latter but being our response.
  • There's this - obscure, I grant you: "Ye are the light of the world, driving the darkness away". Better known is "Longing for light, we wait in darkness" but you'd need to sort out the copyright.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    I'm sorry - I'm a Philistine. I'd just whack Maria McKee singing "You are the Light" through the audio system.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    No comment.
  • If it's "All-Age" you could use that well-known chorus Jesus buds us shine - bit short though and not exactly full of theological nuance :grin:
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    How did you get on? Did you use Mrs @Offeiriad's hymn? How was your sermon?
  • If it's "All-Age" you could use that well-known chorus Jesus buds us shine.
    A bit early in the season for buds, don't you think?

  • EvangelineEvangeline Shipmate Posts: 27
    At my very AngloCatholic parish with a very traditional approach to music, one of the SS volunteers taught the children Shine Jesus Shine for this Sunday. Caused quite the stir.
  • EvangelineEvangeline Shipmate Posts: 27
    If it's "All-Age" you could use that well-known chorus Jesus buds us shine - bit short though and not exactly full of theological nuance :grin:

    Jesus Bids us Shine was one of the first hymns I learnt in Kindy at my Presbyterian school and it really resonated with me I think it's just perfect for young children -so much better than many children's religious songs. I am sad that it seems to have disappeared from hymn books.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    One of my early memories is asking my parents “ what’s a Nosit?” ( Well he sees and knows it if our light grows dim).
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    What's wrong with Lights abode celestial Salem?
  • What's wrong with Lights abode celestial Salem?

    Well it does need considerable explanation given the arcane language
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Really?
  • Yes, really (I've never heard of it till now!) And it's not really about us being lights in the world, is it?
  • No one seems to have mentioned 'Christ is the world's light, He and none other' - here. Is that particularly UK Methodist I wonder? I like the tune - but then I like old tunes.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Really?

    Yes, starting with Lights abode celestial Salem..
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Yeah. I'm only partially thick, but it seems it may be the part that should interpret that. I''m presuming "abode" is to be read as a verb ... which I believe died out in the late 17th century. I think the lights must be the subject of the verb, thought what they're doing aboding Salem and why it's gone up in (or above?) the world I'm not quite sure.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    The first line should be Light's abode, celestial Salem.

    It’s really a hymn about heaven, not about us being light in the world. The first four words are twin references to heaven, described as the abode (n.) of light, and the heavenly Jerusalem - using a rare (five occurrences in the Bible) name for Jerusalem.

    The hymn can be found here. It is J.M.Neale’s verse translation of a Latin hymn by Thomas à Kempis. In the fourth and fifth verses it switches from being addressed to heaven to being addressed to the author’s own bodily self.

    It’s a hymn which is not easy to take in on singing through if you’re not already familiar with it. The language is quite allusive.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited March 4
    "Abode" hasn't died out! Apart from anything else, there is the day-to-day usage as in of no fixed abode.

    As for "Salem" being rare, tell that to the inhabitants of the town in Massachusetts or anyone who's heard of the (in)famous Salem Witch Trials.
  • But these words are rare in ordinary UK English discourse, and the entire hymn is phrased in terms which, I suspect, were deliberately archaic when Neale penned it.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    <snip>
    As for "Salem" being rare, tell that to the inhabitants of the town in Massachusetts or anyone who's heard of the (in)famous Salem Witch Trials.
    True, but a bit of a red herring as far as the meaning of the hymn is concerned.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    "Abode" hasn't died out! Apart from anything else, there is the day-to-day usage as in of no fixed abode.

    As for "Salem" being rare, tell that to the inhabitants of the town in Massachusetts or anyone who's heard of the (in)famous Salem Witch Trials.
    “Abode” hasn’t died out as a noun. What Zappa said was that use of it as a verb has died out.

    Living near the Moravian town of Salem (now Winston-Salem), I’m well aware of the meaning of Salem, but I think BroJames is right that the average person would miss the meaning.

    And as noted, the request was for a hymn about us being the light of the world.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Isn't the verb 'abide'? That's the only verbal form of the word I know. And although it's slightly old fashioned, it's not sufficiently so to be archaic, yet alone obsolete.

    It's also the first word of a very, very well known hymn.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    "Abode" hasn't died out! Apart from anything else, there is the day-to-day usage as in of no fixed abode. ...
    “Abode” hasn’t died out as a noun. What Zappa said was that use of it as a verb has died out.
    ...

    Correct. Though the insertion of the comma has clarified matters (so did Professor Google, and Hymnary.org, but that was after I posted), and the word abode can now be read as a noun.

    And yeah, Enoch, abide is relatively common. But I was stressing the point that abode as a verb died out late in the 17thC.

    So carry on.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Isn't the verb 'abide'? That's the only verbal form of the word I know.
    I think “abode” is an archaic past tense of “abide.” Now we would use “abided.”

  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    PS ... D H Lawrence hated that hymn. Just saying.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    Isn't the verb 'abide'? That's the only verbal form of the word I know.
    I think “abode” is an archaic past tense of “abide.” Now we would use “abided.”
    …or use an auxiliary verb - did abide.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Yes, the auxiliary verb probably being more likely.
  • But these words are rare in ordinary UK English discourse,

    I think this isn't terribly relevant - a lot of poetry uses words which aren't commonly used in ordinary UK English discourse. And unless we want to sing hymns entitled "Oh bugger, it's raining again" then that's probably a good thing. A more relevant question is whether the words used are commonly understood by normal English speakers, and I think I have to side with TheOrganist on abode. I don't, by contrast, think the average person will get Salem <-> Jerusalem, and more people will get 'abode' than will get 'celestial'. I think the rest of the hymn is rather easier than the first line, though.

    As it happens, I'm rather fond of "Lights abode, celestial Salem" - and as I remember, we used to sing it at school fairly regularly. But I'll agree with you that it's not about us being a light in the world.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    “Jesus bids us shine” is in Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New, which is a fairly recent hymn book. I’ve played it a few times recently; the children seem to like it and the older people who remember it from childhood are delighted.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited March 4
    It's obscure and I've never sung it, but Graham Kendrick's "Darkness like a shroud covers the earth" fits the bill, in its latter stanzas. Ditto Chris Christensen's "May we be a shining light to the nations".
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