Monday, June 13, 2011

FW: Theological words about the Holy Spirit...

Peters on Pentecost…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Monday, June 13, 2011 5:56 AM
Author: (Pastor Peters)
Subject: Theological words about the Holy Spirit...


Lorenz Wunderlich called his book on the Holy Spirit The Half Known God.  I confess I do not recall too much from the volume but the title is spot on.  The Holy Spirit is only half known among us -- but is this due to some lacking in us or could this be by design?  The Holy Spirit always points to Jesus and works in a hidden way so that Jesus is always center stage.  I wonder if it we were ever to know much of the Spirit except in relation to the role of the Spirit as Light revealer, pointing us to Jesus.  What we do know of the Spirit is probably less from the paragraph of theological tomes than it is from the pages of the hymnal.  The hymns of Pentecost are the most potent sources of what we practically know of the Spirit and His work than just about anything other than, at least for Lutherans, the explanation to the third article in the Small Catechism.

Yesterday we sang some of the great warhorses of the hymns on the Spirit (from Luther's "Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord" to the wonderful Danish favorite "O Day Full of Grace" to "O Holy Spirit, Enter In" - unfortunately placed in the beginning of service section of LSB) to the hymns newer to us Lutherans (like "Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven") to the classic "Come Down, O Love Divine".

Of all of them, I am particularly attracted to the traditional sequence hymn for Pentecost, "Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest."  Now I prefer the plainsong melody (LSB 499) but realize that this is probably inaccessible for most congregations so the German hymn setting of this same melody (LSB 498) will have to do. If you want to know the theology of the Holy Spirit, I would suggest you spend time mulling over these hymns and, for me, the top of the heap is always, Komm, Gott Schopfer.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
And fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

To Thee, the Comforter, we cry,
To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,
The Fount of life, the Fire of love,
The soul's Anointing from above.

The sevenfold gifts of grace are Thine,
O Finger of the Hand Divine;
True promise of the Father Thou,
Who dost the tongue with speech endow.

Thy light to every thought impart
And shed Thy love in every heart;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Drive far away our wily Foe
And Thine abiding peace bestow;
If Thou be our protecting Guide,
No evil can our steps betide.

Make Thou to us the Father known,
Teach us the eternal Son to won
And Thee, whose name we ever bless,
Of both the Spirit, to confess.

Praise we the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, with them One;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow! Amen.

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