Glimpses of Glory

by Glen Wiberg

This tribute to Bryan Leech was written a few days before receiving word of Bryan’s passing into Glory.

Can you recall a first time when you felt jubilation in a service of worship? Perhaps it was unexpected, a moment when it seemed that the Lord himself breathed on you, turning to radiance where the moment before you felt like a burnt out cinder.

Over the years I have become more vulnerable to letting the tears fall in singing, or what Bryan Leech describes in his wonderful hymn “Glimpses of Glory,” evoking the living spirit of jubilation (Covenant Hymnal, No. 749).

Verse 1
Sometimes it seems we’re standing on tiptoe,
Sometimes it seems the future is now.
Sometimes the holy hush of God’s presence
comes and then leaves us wondering how.
Sometimes it seems we’re caught up to heaven.
Or is it heaven that comes to us here?
Sometimes it seems that just for a moment,
Things that are hidden are suddenly clear.

Glimpses of glory, glimpses of glory,
hearts are now soaring as if they had wings.
He who once died is risen, ascended,
regally splendid, King of all kings!

Verse 2
Sometimes a fire is there in the preaching,
Sometimes a glow when everyone sings.
Sometimes a word, a phrase or a sentence,
convinces the heart of heavenly things.
Sometimes the Word proclaimed in our worship,
Sometimes a prayer when prayed from the heart
gives us for Christ the ultimate longing
and brings us together before we depart.

Verse 3
Ears have not heard it, eyes have not seen it,
all that our future surely will be.
Even on days with life at its darkest,
God gives us a foretaste of wonders to be.
Can’t you now hear the fanfare they’re sounding?
Don’t you now sense the crowning is near?
Doesn’t your heart now throb with excitement
to think any moment Christ will be here?

In the words of Gerard Manly Hopkins, “the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with, ah! — bright wings.” Pastor Leech’s hymn has blessed us with an authentic feeling of jubilation and glimpses of Glory. “Doesn’t your heart now throb with excitement to think any moment Christ will be here?”