07 January 2016

J. Edgar Park: “We Would See Jesus”


Today I was thinking of a hymn written by J. Edgar Park (1879-1956) entitled "We Would See Jesus".  (For some the tune is permanently linked with a tune named CUSHMAN, and as one would expect, others wish there were another tune altogether.) I tend to think of this as a hymn sung in the mid-20th century by Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists in the USA.

Today I am interested in the text as one for rumination and prayer this day in Epiphanytide:

We would see Jesus, lo! His star is shining
Above the stable while the angels sing;
There in a manger on the hay reclining;
Haste, let us lay our gifts before the King.

We would see Jesus, Mary’s Son most holy,
Light of the village life from day to day;
Shining revealed through every task most lowly,
The Christ of God, the Life, the Truth, the Way.

We would see Jesus, on the mountain teaching,
With all the listening people gathered round;
While birds and flowers and sky above are preaching
The blessedness which simple trust has found.

We would see Jesus, in His work of healing,
At eventide before the sun was set;
Divine and human, in His deep revealing
Of God made flesh, in loving service met.

We would see Jesus, in the early morning,
Still as of old He calleth, “Follow Me!”
Let us arise, all meaner service scorning,
Lord, we are Thine, and give ourselves to Thee.