Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fairest Lord Jesus (Strength in Hymn)




"Fairest Lord Jesus"
(Attributed to 17th century German Jesuits, 
translated by Joseph Seiss)

Fairest Lord Jesus
Ruler of all nature
Thou of God and man the Son
Thee will I cherish
Thee will I honor  
Thou, my soul's glory joy, and crown.


Fair are the meadows
Fairer still the woodlands
Robed in the blooming garb of spring: 
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.


 Fair is the sunshine
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host: 
Jesus shines brighter
Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.


Beautiful Savior! 
Lord of all the nations! 
Son of God and Son of Man! 
Glory and honor, praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be thine.



In the past several years I've come to a keener appreciation for the beauty in nature.  When I am feeling disillusioned in my faith, I remember God as the wonderful Creator.  I am a bit of an artsy maverick and I love taking pictures in the great outdoors with my trusty little iPod camera, so the story of creation speaks to me powerfully.  I am indebted to Bishop William Frey's book The Dance of Hope for reaffirming this many years ago in a passage on seeing God through the lenses of both creation and redemption.  As he writes, "God begins to unleash in us the same power that brought the universe into being."  The same Lord who created all of this amazing, glorious world makes all things new, and continues to work fresh redemption into our lives.  And I think of Jesus.  When the messiness of the Christian world gets to be a bit much, and remind myself of Who my life is all about: fairest Lord Jesus.  People can make ugly mistakes.  He does not.  He makes pure beauty.  He redeems and renews what has become spoiled. I can sing about that.

Jesus shines purer. 
He makes the woeful heart to sing.

Grace,
Virginia Knowles

P.S. I have often sung this lovely hymn at home with my children, as well as at church.  To read the story behind this hymn, as well as hear it sung, click here.  To watch it on YouTube with nature scenes in Celtic style, click here.

This post is the third in my Strength in Hymn series, which combines hymn texts, nature photography, and encouragement for those who wrestle with the implications of faith in God.  The other two posts so far are:

I am linking this post at these sites...

  • Sweet Shot Tuesday 
  • Still Saturday
  • The Sunday Community
  • Domestically Divine on Tuesday
  • Raising Homemakers on Wednesday
  • Whole-Hearted Home on Wednesday
  • Wise Woman Link Up on Wednesday
  • Walking Redeemed on Wednesday

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    P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

    7 comments:

    1. I can't edit the post right now without messing up my funky font, but I asked my friend Dena, whose flowers appear in this post, what they were. She says, "The one by the red chair is princess flower although it's not blooming right now. The pinkish red one is bouganvilla. The next 2 are my favorite- the yellow and white is plumeria and the red and white is bleeding heart vine. And the last is some sort of geranium!" Thanks, Dena!

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    2. I like the chair picture, and imagine myself sitting in a garden with Jesus enjoying the view and chatting about life, and maybe even singing this hymn to him.

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    3. Really beautiful post, Virginia! I'm next to you at Still Saturday.

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    4. I really like the photo with the red chair! :)

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    5. Lovely photos Virginia. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
      Blessings,
      Beth

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    6. I sing so loudly when this hymn is part of worship! Beautiful collection of photos too.

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    7. This was so nice, Virginia!! Wow!! I love those plumari flowers, and are those white bougainvillea?? You are blessed to live in Florida!! It is summer here and then it cools off and so goes the entire summer, LOL!!

      I am with you with learning to appreciate God's nature more.

      Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this past week.

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