As With Gladness Men of Old
Lyrics by William Chatterton Dix on 6 January 1859
Music by Konrad Kocher in 1838
As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.
You know, Lord, I cannot count the many times I’ve been led home to you. Each time, the experience was accompanied by a chapter or incident in my life where I had hit bottom in my relationships with others. You knew I had nowhere else to turn; You stood by patiently, watching, waiting, knowing the dark place I was in would eventually lead my eyes upward to the light, Your Heavenly Light. Bless You for Your willingness to watch over me lovingly and wait for me to turn my eyes towards You, Father.
As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy-seat.
My feet, hands, and mind have been and still are stubborn and strong-willed. It has always taken much to turn my sad and lonely detours around; I’ve had to erase from my heart the paths I mistakenly took towards relationship and self-destruction. Thank You, Father, for the many times I’ve reached up for Your hand, and there it was, already by my side.
As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.
My treasures are within, part and parcel of who I am. You blessed me with thirty-seven years of service to the students of my state. I served them through hours of hard work and preparation. They served me through their tutelage, teaching me how best to reach each and every one of them where they were and showing me what they needed most.
Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.
Your Way is indeed a narrow way. I have strayed from side to side. I have lost the light by day and night. Yet You have been there always. I am blessed beyond measure by knowing You are there guiding me, never hiding Your face from me, protecting me from my worst enemy, myself.
In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!
Bring me home to You, Dear Lord, every day, so that on my last day on Earth, I’ll know the way and be not afraid. Amen