Light to See By

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: WYNYARD

Lyrics as Poetry

Light to see by,
Light to walk by,
Light to bless our daily way,
Light that penetrates the darkness,
blast the shrouds of death away.


We prejudge on base of colour,
nation state and ancient creed;
wars are fought and peoples suffer,
fields prepared for hatred’s seed.
By the might of bomb and missile
we prepare earth’s funeral day.
God, prepare us for your promise
earth’s renewal, healing’s day.

Light to see by,
Light to walk by,
Light to bless our daily way,
Light that penetrates the darkness,
blast the shrouds of death away.


Starving children, weeping parents,
cries of race and anger sound,
while the blood of those forgotten
cries for vengeance from the ground;
Landless peasants, jobless workers,
listen for a word of hope;
protest ends for many sufferers
with a gunshot or a rope.

Light to see by,
Light to walk by,
Light to bless our daily way,
Light that penetrates the darkness,
blast the shrouds of death away.


Light of nations and all peoples
marked in Jordan, one of us,
close the book on ancient evils,
call a people kind and just.
Heal the sick and free the prisoners,
meet us in each place of need;
Light of Love, God’s great intention,
drive out curse of hate and greed.

Light to see by,
Light to walk by,
Light to bless our daily way,
Light that penetrates the darkness,
blast the shrouds of death away.


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1985 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

BY WALTER FARQUHARSON


I was born in 1936. The Great Depression that had begun in 1929 had left the economies of nations reeling. The Great Plains of North America, including the Canadian prairies, were in the grips of prolonged drought. They were the “dirty thirties”. The wheat basket of the world had become the great dust bowl. Major conflicts were beginning in Asia, fascism had become the face of Italy and Spain, Hitler was on the rise in Germany.

I remember that a large map of the world covered a significant portion of a wall in our farm kitchen that was also dining room and living room. My Dad, who had been a wireless operator in the British Merchant Marine during World War One often spent hours on winter nights listening to shortwave radio, transcribing the Morse Code news broadcasts coming from a variety of sources. Pins and tacks marked trouble spots and battle fronts. Young men and women from our community were joining up as war in Europe and Asia escalated. Soon families began receiving the dreaded telegrams – wounded in action, killed in action, missing in action.

By August, 1945 and the “end of hostilities”, the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humankind lived with a new reality. We possessed the means to destroy as never before. The truth of the holocaust revealed, as no event before it, that the most sophisticated/educated/civilized of the human family could become capable of almost any evil!

Some time in that fall of 1945 I remember hurrying home from our country school because on CBC radio there was a series in which listeners heard descriptions of the devastation of large cities and the horrific aftermath of the nuclear explosions. At school we participated in silly little drills where an alarm sounded and we dutifully hid under our desks “protected in case of nuclear attack”.

At Christmas we would again sing with the angels, “Peace on earth. Good will to all.”

From the prophets, from Jesus, from so many teachers and seers we have heard the promise – or the possibility – of swords being beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.

The call is to see the light that penetrates the darkness and to trust that the darkness does not, and cannot, overcome it.

The components of the darkness must be seen, named, confronted. Greed. Indifference to the suffering of others. Injustice. Egocentrism. Fatalism. Racism. Sexism. …

The rays of light must be seen, named, celebrated. Compassion. Justice-seeking. Hope. Trust. Love. Service. …

Our task is to begin, and begin anew, to earnestly desire peace and justice. Then, with intentionality, with honest reflection, with humility and care, we think, speak and act as those who have seen the light.

Scripture References

  • Isaiah 61:1-4
  • Isaiah 65:17-25
  • John 1:1-5
  • John 8:12
  • John 9:1-11
  • John 9:14
  • 1 John 1:5-2:11
  • Revelation 1:12-18
  • Revelation 21:22-26

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Advent∶ Year 'B'∶ Advent 3
  • Call to action
  • Challenge
  • Confession
  • Conflict
  • Contrition
  • Creation∶ care of
  • Empowerment
  • Environment (care of)
  • Greed
  • Heal, Healing
  • Humanity
  • Hunger
  • Hurt
  • Justice, Human Rights
  • Light
  • Nations
  • Oppression
  • Pain
  • Past
  • Peace
  • Prison, Prisoner
  • Race, Racism
  • Sin
  • Suffering
  • War

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