The Worship Quote of the Week for (05/22/2007):

"My Way, My Life, My Light"
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a seventeenth-century devotional poem focusing on Christ who is the believer’s WAY and LIFE and LIGHT. The poet refers to images of our Lord as revealed in the Gospel of John. Can you pick out the various biblical passages that are embedded in these beautiful stanzas? (Hint: Start with John 1:4 and don’t forget chapters 9 (blind man healed), 11 (resurrection and the life), and 14 (The way, the truth, and the life).

“Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face?” Job 13:24

Why dost Thou shade Thy lovely face? O why
Does that eclipsing hand so long deny
The sunshine of Thy soul-enlivening eye?

Without that Light, what light remains in me?
Thou art my Life, my Way, my Light; in Thee
I live, I move, and by Thy beams I see.

Thou art my life: if Thou but turn away,
My life’s a thousand deaths: Thou art my Way;
Without Thee, Lord, I travel not, but stray.

My Light Thou art; without Thy glorious sight,
Mine eyes are darkened with perpetual night.
My God, Thou art my Way, my Life, my Light.

Thou art my Way; I wander, if Thou fly:
Thou art my Light; if hid, how blind am I!
Thou art my Life; if thou withdraw, I die.

Mine eyes are blind and dark, I cannot see;
To whom, or whither, should my darkness flee,
But to the Light? And who’s that Light but Thee?

My path is lost; my wandering steps do stray;
I cannot safely go, nor safely stay;
Whom should I seek but Thee, my Path, my Way?

* * * * *

Thou art the pilgrim’s Path; the blind man’s Eye;
The dead man’s Life; on Thee my hopes rely;
If Thou remove, I err, I grope, I die.

Disclose Thy sun-beams; close Thy wings, and stay:
See, see how I am blind, and dead, and stray,
O Thou, that art my Light, my Life, my Way.

— Francis Quarles (1592-1644), from A TREASURY OF CHRISTIAN VERSE, selected and edited by Hugh Martin, London: SCM Press Ltd., 1959, p. 42.

[I have found these words particularly helpful today in praying for a dear Christian brother who is having a very hard time seeing the Light of Christ in his life—physical problems, spiritual challenges, and emotional trials that are almost too much to bear. ("Whom should [he] seek but Thee, [his] Path, [his] Way?") This poem is reminiscent of lines by one of Francis Quarles’s contemporaries, George Herbert (“Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life”), once again referring to the truths in John’s Gospel (14:6). For Herbert's full poem, "The Call," see WQOTW archives at <>.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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