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Hymn: Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face

by PastorMinton on November 13th, 2015

Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face

Author: Horatius Bonar (1855)
Typical Tune: Farley Castle, Henry Lawes (1638)
Alternate Tune: Morecambe, Frederick Atkinson (1870)

(alternate tune)

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HYMN BACKGROUND

Bonar was an ordained priest in the Free Church of Scotland. He gained fame as a religious writer with the publication of the “Kelso Tracts.” He also wrote three series of “Hymns of Faith and Hope” between 1857 and 1866.

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LYRICS

1 Here, O my Lord, I see You face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen,
Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon You lean.

2 Here would I feed upon the bread of God,
Here drink with You the royal wine of heav’n;
Here would I lay aside each earthly load,
Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiv’n.

3 This is the hour of banquet and of song;
Here is the heav’nly table spread anew;
Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong
The brief bright hour of fellowship with You.

4 I have no help but Yours; nor do I need
Another arm but Yours to lean upon;
It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;
My strength is in Your might, Your might alone.

5 Mine is the sin but Yours the righteousness;
Mine is the guilt but Yours the cleansing blood;
Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace:
Your blood, Your righteousness, O Lord, my God.

6 Too soon, we rise; the vessels disappear;
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.
The bread and wine remove, but You are here,
Nearer than ever, still my Shield and Sun.

7 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,
Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,
Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.

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COMMENTARY

In this catechetical communion hymn, the true purpose of the Lord’s Supper comes into the forefront. We come to the Lord’s Table to meet our Lord face to face. We receive Jesus’ body and blood. Not as a spiritual meal, but as a physical meal. The Lord’s Supper is the most concrete example of the Gospel working forgiveness in our lives.

However, we often take this wonderful gift for granted. And the hymn points it out as well:

Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear;
the feast, though not the love, is past and gone;
the bread and wine remove, but Thou art here;
nearer than ever; still my shield and sun.

While we take the Lord’s Supper for granted, knowing that it will be available again on the second and fourth Sunday on the month. Although we can have the assurance that it will be offered again, we should never take His gifts for granted. Because the gift of His body and blood points to the grand heavenly feast. Giving us a foretaste of Heaven here on earth.

From → Hymnody

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