I’ll try to catch up on the list of favorite hymns. For now I’m going to stick to Epiphany hymns. Maybe next year I’ll go through the list again and re-evaluate my hymns, but here they are for now:
#4 — To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord (89)
This is one of two hymns in our hymnal on the Baptism of our Lord. The other one is a Luther hymn, which may actually be a better hymn—but I’m not as familiar with it because it’s much more challenging to sing. This one was written by Professor Tiefel from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.
#5 — Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (93)
#6 — Down from the Mount of Glory (97)
I just discovered this hymn this year. I taught it to our upper grade class for hymnology. I love the reference to Jesus’ "double glory" at his transfiguration. The obvious glory is Jesus in the bright light and his changed appearance. He gives to his disciples a glimpse of the glory that is his by right but that he set aside in his humiliation. Jesus’ majesty and divinity is his glory.
But the hymn makes the point that Jesus is also in his glory when he goes "down from the mount of glory." He could have stayed up on that mountain. He could have stayed in his glory. But he didn’t. He went down the mountain and went on his way to the cross. Jesus came down from the mountain so that he could complete his mission: our salvation. He went down from the mountain in glory, but his glory was hidden in his suffering. His glory was hidden in his death.
When St. John describes the throne of God in heaven (in Revelation), the saints and angels give honor and glory to the Lamb. Why? Because he was slain, and with his blood he purchased men for God. Jesus’ greater glory is displayed by coming down the mount of transfiguration and going to Mt. Calvary.