O Holy Spirit, Enter In (ELW 786, Verse 2)
2 Left to ourselves, we surely stray;
oh, lead us on the narrow way,
with wisest counsel guide us;
and give us steadfastness, that we
may follow you forever free,
no matter who derides us.
Gently heal those hearts now broken;
give some token you are near us,
whom we trust to light and cheer us.
Hymns from the 1600’s capture a certain sentiment. Schirmer suggests that “left to ourselves, we surely stray.” The Spirit is meant to guide us and keep us on the right path.
In modern music, I remember the first time I heard the song “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli performed by a high school band. There was a shift in focus. Instead of the Holy Spirit seen as a “corrective” measure, this song is a reminder of the LORD’s presence and an invitation: “Holy Spirit, you are welcome here.”
Our hearts long for the presence of the Spirit. Two different songs from vastly different eras, both request the Spirit’s presence to enter our hearts so we can live in the ways of God. The Holy Spirit is a both/and—guiding us along the way so we’re never alone, yet inviting and encouraging us at the same time. How do you describe the ways that the Holy Spirit functions in your life?
Holy Spirit, you are welcome into our hearts as you lead us on our way. Guide us with your wise council as our hearts long for your glory. Amen.