My favorite hymn in Evangelical Lutheran Worship is “Light Dawns on a Weary World.” This fall my husband, Pastor Del Olivier, played a hymn fest at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moville and at Augustana Lutheran Church in Sioux City. “Light Dawns on a Weary World” was the closing hymn. As an introduction to the hymn he wrote: As you look at the lyrics for the final hymn, you’ll notice the last word: shalom. This Hebrew word is commonly translated as “peace” and is used as both a greeting and a farewell. Peace is an accurate translation of the term, but shalom implies more than lack of conflict. Other definitions include completeness, soundness, and welfare. It is also correct to say that the word shalom carries with it an idea of restoration to wholeness.
There is so much division and brokenness in the world today. Mary Louise Bringle, the author of the text for “Light Dawns on a Weary World” expresses positive signs of Christ’s love for the world by beginning each stanza with powerful phrases: “light dawns,” “love grows,” and “hope blooms.”
The last stanza of “Come Now, O Prince of Peace” is a plea for unity, for us to be one body. It is also a prayer for reconciliation. So much divides us, but we find our unity in our Lord Jesus, the true prince of peace.
Come, now, O Prince of Peace. Look upon our broken world. Bring us to the peace and reconciliation by which you lived and for which you died. In your holy name, amen.
Augustana Lutheran, Sioux City