A New Transfiguration Hymn: “From the Mount of Our Lord’s Glory”

TransfigAbout a year ago, Pastor Hans Fiene preached a sermon on the Transfiguration in which he developed the theme of the interconnectedness of the four mountains that are, implicitly or explicitly, part of that narrative: Sinai, Carmel, Calvary, and the Mount of Transfiguration. Hans wrote:

Here on the mountain of the transfiguration, Moses brings with him Mount Sinai, the mountain of the law. Here, Elijah brings with him Mount Carmel, the mountain of spiritual warfare. And here Jesus brings with him the mountain he is preparing to visit, the mountain called Calvary, where he will die for the sins of the world. And on this mountain of the transfiguration, we see that all these other mountains are interconnected, joined together and forming the story of what it means to be a Christian saved by the blood of Jesus.

Here is a hymn I wrote that’s based upon the ideas and images in that homily. Other tunes fit this text, but I chose the one noted below. If you wish, feel free to use this on Sunday as you celebrate the festival.

“From the Mount of Our Lord’s Glory”
Hymn for the Transfiguration of our Lord
Tune: Unser Herrscher (LSB #901 “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty”)

From the mount of our Lord’s glory,
Other mountaintops appear.
Peaks in concert sing this story:
Our salvation has drawn near.
Shine, O Lord, from every height
Rays of wisdom, peace, and light!

Moses from Mount Sinai preaches
Words in stone that shatter hearts.
Down into the depths he reaches,
Bidding us from sin depart.
Rise, repent, O Christian, see
Light and life on Calvary!

As Elijah battles evil,
Truth and lies on Carmel fight,
Christians strive against the devil;
Warfare is our daily plight.
Grant us peace midst war and loss,
From the mount of our Lord’s cross.

Jesus from Mount Calv’ry preaches
Blood-soaked words that heal our hearts.
Warfare ends, the battle ceases,
Peace and hope our Lord imparts.
Christ, transfixed on Calv’ry’s tree,
Grant that we transfigured be!

Here we see salvation’s story,
Here the law has been fulfilled,
Here is Christ in thorn-crowned glory,
Here our hearts His peace has stilled.
Here, our Lord, upon that height,
Shines on us as Light of Light!

To check out two other Transfiguration hymns that I’ve written click here

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10 thoughts on “A New Transfiguration Hymn: “From the Mount of Our Lord’s Glory”

  1. Armin Wenz on said:

    Here is a very similar version by the German poet Sigmund von Birken:

    _Dominica VI. post Epiphaniam _

    Emblema: drey Hütten: 1. Mosis, mit Soldaten ümgeben, oben ein dornbusch. 2. Eliae Zelt, mit feurigen Roßen und Wagen ümgeben, oben eine Fakel. 3. Christi, mit Engeln ümgeben, oben ein Fähnlein und Krone.

    Lemma. Auf harte Müh, folgt sanffte Ruh, / und dort die Himmelskron darzu.

    I.AndachtLied. Nach der Singweiße: Steh doch Seele, steh doch fäste stc.

    1. Laß die Welt diß Leben lieben! / hier auf Erd ist nit gut seyn. / hier wohnt nichtes, als Betrüben, / Unrecht, Sünde, Noht und Pein. / Langes leben hier auf Erden, / heist nur, lang gequälet werden.

    2. Nicht so, Gott in deinem Himmel! / in dem Himmel ist gut seyn: / da hört auf das Leidgewimmel; / da gibt ewig-hellen Schein / deine schöne FreudenSonne, / da wohnt wahre Lebenswonne.

    3. Dieses Wohlseyn laß mich schauen. / laß mich in dem Sternenland / mir bald eine Hütte bauen, / tretten an den guten Stand: / daß ich in dem Freudenwesen / ewig möge Leids genesen.

    4. Hier ich wohn in Mose Hütten, / in der Wüste dieser Welt. / Hier ach! muß es seyn gelitten, / weil man dein Gesetz nicht hält. / und es muß die Erde tragen / die Fluchdörnern, uns zuplagen.

    5. Dieses Sünd- und Jammer-Leben, / dieses Kriegszelt, ieder Zeit / von den Feinden wird ümgeben, / die uns fordern in den Streit. / Was ist hier? Gefährlichs Kriegen, / und doch ungewißes Siegen.

    6. Diesen Sieg davon zutragen, / flieh ich in Elias Zelt, / das durch Feuer-Roß und Wagen / Gott in seinem Schutze hält. / Sicher ich den feind bestreite, / in dem Englischen Geleite.

    7. doch so laß ich mir vor allen, / Jesu, dort dein HimmelZelt, / da der Friede wohnt, gefallen, / wo man mit dir Siegpracht hält. / da werd ich gekrönet werden. / Jesu, hol mich von der Erden!

    Dreyen Jüngern auf dem Berg Jesus herrlich wird verkläret, / und: diß ist mein lieber Sohn! himmel-ab die Stimm gehöret.

  2. Did someone say translation? 🙂

    I suppose there would be room for a translation von Birken’s hymn. It has a diferent meter and tune, after all. But also this hymn is different in that it is in the first person singular, and is concerned more with tabernacles, and where one dwells. To singer longs to depart earth and dwell in heaven. Also, von Birken’s lyric is comparatively less action-oriented or illustrative, and more focused on the individual experience, yet in the doctrinally cogent manner of high orthodoxy. It would be great as a concluding hymn.

  3. Armin Wenz on said:

    I can’t think of a better person to translate Birken poems into English than Matthew. Despite of the differences there are also quite a few analogies in both poems, considering that we Christians in many respects live in all three tents or are on a constant move between these tents – with a very clear direction, though. So thanks, Chad for this great text – also for the one from yesterday. The best poet is the one who inspires his readers. – Matthew: Birken’s spiritual poems are part of my work on Glassius when it comes to his “Wirkungsgeschichte”.

  4. Arlene Kish on said:

    Chad, May I use your hymn “A New Transfiguration Hymn: “From the Mount of Our Lord’s Glory” in a Central District LWMLC Newsletter to be published March 3rd. It is published for the members approx. 400, who live in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Western Ontario in Canada. I was compiling an article on the subject transfiguration through to Easter. When I saw your blog with the hymn, it says all that I wanted to. The newsletter is sent out via email to each member. I enjoy your blog.

  5. Always finding spiritual gems in your hymns Chad. And Matt could do justice to the German hymn in Eng tr on Hymnoglypt, perhaps.

  6. Thank you! Beautiful hymn! Our congregation will enjoy singing this hymn this Sunday!

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