Scripture Verse

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14


William W. How
National Portrait Gallery


Words: Will­iam W. How, 1867.

Music: Mu­nich Neu­ver­mehr­tes Ge­sang­buch (Mein­ing­en, Ger­ma­ny: 1693). Har­mo­ny by Fe­lix Men­dels­sohn, 1847 (🔊 pdf nwc). This was one of Men­dels­sohn’s last com­po­si­tions.

Alternate Tunes:

Felix Mendelssohn


O Word of God in­car­nate,
O wis­dom from on high,
O truth un­changed, un­chang­ing,
O light of our dark sky:
We praise You for the ra­di­ance
That from the hal­lowed page,
A lan­tern to our foot­steps,
Shines on from age to age.

The Church from You, our Sav­ior,
Received the gift di­vine,
And still that light is lift­ed
O’er all the earth to shine.
It is the sacred ves­sel
Where gems of truth are stored;
It is the Heav’n drawn pic­ture
Of Christ, the liv­ing Word.

The Scrip­ture is a ban­ner
Before God’s host un­furled;
It is a shin­ing bea­con
Above the dark­ling world.
It is the chart and com­pass
That ov­er life’s surg­ing tide,
Mid mists and rocks and quick­sands,
To You, O Christ, will guide.

O make your Church, dear Sav­ior,
A lamp of pur­est gold,
To bear be­fore the na­tions
Your true light as of old.
O teach your wan­der­ing pil­grims
By this their path to trace,
Till, clouds and dark­ness end­ed,
They see You face to face.