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"Let There Be Light"The Refuge Church
00:00 / 04:14

In December 2022, as Pastor Eric was preparing for a sermon on John 1, he stumbled upon an old hymn he had never heard before -- "Let There Be Light." It was originally written in 1813 by an English poet and clergyman named John Marriott. While it has appeared in several hymnals worldwide, it never gained the popularity its lyrics deserved.

Eric showed the hymn to Pastor Justin and together they worked on putting the song to new music and melody, without ever having listened to the original until after their own version was completed. This recording is the product of that exercise, and it was introduced to The Refuge Church for worship on December 3, 2023.

Marriott's lyrics are inspired by several passages of Scripture:

  • Verse 1: John 1:1-18

  • Verse 2: Isaiah 9:2 & 61:1-2, Luke 4:16-21

  • Verse 3: Genesis 1:1-3

  • Verse 4: Habakkuk 2:14

Our version also includes an added chorus, drawn from the words of Psalm 22:9-11. Together, these lyrics proclaim the good news we celebrate every Advent and Christmas season: In the incarnate person of Jesus, God has come to us -- a people helpless and lost in the darkness of sin -- to bring us the light and salvation we desperately need. Our prayer is that re-introducing this old hymn in a fresh way will help draw us into a deeper sense of awe, wonder, and love for our gracious God. 


Words by John Marriott, Justin Sluiter, Eric Freeman

Music by Justin Sluiter


God, your almighty word

Chaos and darkness heard

And took their flight

Hear us, we humbly pray

And where the gospel-day

Sheds not its glorious ray

Let there be light


Savior, you came to give

Those who in darkness live

Healing and sight

Health to the troubled mind

Sight to the inward blind

Now to all humankind

Let there be light


From our first breath

You've been our God

So in the dark we tremble not

Yet in the dark this world is caught

Lord, none else can help

Illuminate the night

Let there be light


Spirit of truth and love

Life giving holy dove

Speed on your flight

Move on the water's face

Bearing the lamp of grace

And in earth's darkest place

Let there be light


Holy and blessed Three

Glorious Trinity

Wisdom, love and might

Boundless as ocean's tide

Rolling in fullest pride

Through the world far and wide

Let there be light

© Justin Sluiter Music (2023)


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