A Korean Hymn Devotion for 2 July 2019 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide. (아침 해가 돋을 때)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
We have many hymns by famous authors which we have praised, but all true hymns are not of man, but given at the inspiration of God Almighty. Here is an old hymn of the Korean Church whose author is given as ‘Anonymous,’ however, I believe we can detect that the Author is none other than the Maker of us all, the LORD. Even the tune is anonymous, and beautiful in reverence. It is my educated guess (knowing the Korean Church) that Dr. John Underwood, an early and lifelong missionary to Korea, is the translator of this Presbyterian hymn.
WHEN THE MORNING BREAKS ANEW
When the morning breaks anew,
All things shine, renew’d and bright.
Let me, Lord, in newness too,
Be Thy sunshine, share Thy Light.
As each newest ray to shine,
Has its service to fulfill,
May I, in each work of mine,
Be Thy sunshine, do Thy will.
As the moments swiftly fly,
Passing once, without return,
So each moment, too, may I,
Be Thy sunshine, brightly burn.
May I give, by night and day,
Heart and hand to God above,
Shed thy love along the way,
Be Thy sunshine, share Thy love.
Help me, Lord, no time to waste
As I walk this world of night,
But to shine where I am plac’d,
Be Thy sunshine, shed Thy Light.
“When the morning breaks anew, All things shine, renew’d and bright. Let me, Lord, in newness too,
Be Thy sunshine, share Thy Light.” “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5 (KJV) During our nights of repentance and confession, the Lord grants us a clean sheet of paper at morning time. During the day, our careless pencils smudge and smear the paper so that we must seek a new and clean sheet through our prayers. But every day is a new day to the Christian, and the first day of a new life in Christ. The morning ALWAYS brings new Light, and our renewed spirits each day should reflect that Light. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
“As each newest ray to shine, Has its service to fulfill, May I, in each work of mine, Be Thy sunshine, do Thy will.” Just as the flower and the wheat cannot thrive on yesterday’s sunlight, neither can the Christian grow and prosper with past light. We need renewed light with each passing day. New Light brings renewed life. Every morning brings the brilliant, effulgent rays of God’s Light to both the green leaf and the Christian heart. It will always accomplish that for which the Lord sends it. The greatest challenge of the Christian is that first, and continuing, surrender of the self-will (erroneously termed FREE WILL) to the perfect will of God which ALWAYS grants perfect freedom and liberty to the believer. Our desires and interests are made new and conform to those of our Lord; therefore, we have perfect freedom and desire to do only those things pleasing to our God.
“As the moments swiftly fly, Passing once, without return, So each moment, too, may I, Be Thy sunshine, brightly burn.” A thousand unlit candles are of little value in a room full of darkness! In order to shed light in darkness, the candle – even if only ONE – must be burning brightly. In the process of burning our life’s candle, we are gradually being consumed in service – dying to self and living for Christ and others. When we are fully consumed by God in our service, we are made a full son or daughter to Him, and become One with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29 (KJV) No matter the arduous exertions, we can never call back the last moment passed. The last heartbeat has served its purpose, but now looms the important NEXT heartbeat. We live for the present moment in Christ, and dedicate the whole to Him. “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYAM (12th century Persian).
“May I give, by night and day, Heart and hand to God above, Shed thy love along the way, Be Thy sunshine, share Thy love.” Love is greater Light than a thousand moons. In fact, love is very much like that thousand moons of light because it is a reflected LOVE of which God is the very SOURCE, just as the moon shares the reflected Light of our Sun – or our Sun of Righteousness! When Our hearts belong to God, then all our treasure, as well, will be on safe deposit beyond the Gates of Splendor. By the way, love not shared or spread along the way, is dead. To be of any benefit to either man or beast, love must be shared. “14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” We never exhaust the SOURCE.
“Help me, Lord, no time to waste As I walk this world of night, But to shine where I am plac’d,
Be Thy sunshine, shed Thy Light. AMEN” It is the Lord who works in and through us, and not our own labors, that have merit acceptance with God. It is the Mind of Christ that we have taken upon us, but not only the Mind, but the REST (sabbath) that He offers. So, our works are His and we rest in Him. The world is full of darkness, but those who walk with Christ walk in the Light of His truth. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 (KJV) and “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” Psalm 89:15 (KJV)
“AMEN”: A brief word about the closing of this hymn with the Hebrew/Greek ‘AMEN!’ Following the reverence evoked in singing by the traditional churches of the Reformation, all classic hymns (those that reflect directly on God’s Holy Word) must end with AMEN (“Verily, So be it!”). Gospel songs are not sung as a part of formal worship in the traditional Korean churches for they are generally light and not doctrinally confirming. In the Anglican Orthodox Church, we follow that same principle and sing only hymns taken from the 1940 Hymnal, or rarely other hymns of like character of Luther and others. In the end, a true hymn is a biblically-centered prayer!