FAIREST LORD JESUS!
Text from Münster Gesangbuch, 1677
4th verse translated by Joseph A. Seiss, 1823–1904
For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
This lovely hymn extolling the beauty and virtues of Christ leads us to the praise and worship or our “beautiful Savior.” The vivid comparisons of all the enjoyable sights of nature with Jesus, who is the very source and essence of all beauty, fill us with awe. Then we are reminded that our Savior outshines all creations of God, including the hosts of angels. How worthy He is of the deepest “glory and honor, praise, adoration now and forevermore!”
Little is known of the origin of this inspiring hymn. It is thought by some to have been sung in the 12th century by the German crusaders as they made their wearisome and dangerous trip to the Holy Land. Another source claims that this was one of the hymns used by the followers of John Hus. These were Moravian believers who were driven out of Bohemia in the bloody anti-Reformation purge of 1620. They settled in Silesia, now a part of Poland. “Fairest Lord Jesus” is thought to be a folk hymn that came from these devout Silesian peasants. The fourth verse, a fine translation by Joseph A. Seiss, emphasizes the dual nature of the Savior—“Son of God and Son of Man”—as well as the praise that will be eternally His.
Whatever the actual origin of the hymn may be, Christians for centuries have been blessed with this worshipful and joyful text, which focuses our view on the fair Son of God who reveals to us the glory of the Father.
Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature! O Thou of God and man the Son! Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my soul’s glory, joy and crown!
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands, robed in the blooming garb of spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer, who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight, and all the twinkling starry host: Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer than all the angels heav’n can boast.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations! Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, praise, adoration now and forevermore be Thine!
For Today: John 1:1, 3, 14; 5:23; 20:31; Philippians 2:9–11; Colossians 1:13, 15; 2:9; Hebrews 1:2, 3
Take time to reflect once again on the virtues of our lovely Lord Jesus. Offer thanks to God for the matchless gift of His Son. Worship Him with this musical expression—