Come, Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove (ELW 404)
1 Come, gracious Spirit, heav’nly dove,
with light and comfort from above.
Come, be our guardian and our guide;
o’er ev’ry thought and step preside.
2 The light of truth to us display
and make us know and choose your way;
plant holy fear in ev’ry heart,
that we from God may ne’er depart.
3 Lead us to Christ, the living way,
nor let us from his pastures stray.
Lead us in holiness, the road
that we must take to dwell with God.
4 Lead us to heav’n, that we may share
fullness of joy forever there;
lead us to our eternal rest,
to be with God forever blest.
Written by Simon Browne around 1720, the words of this hymn reflect the Holy Spirit’s influence over his thinking and his soul in his willingness to give himself over to the power of the Holy Spirit in his life and in his life’s work.
An acquaintance who is new to driving in this country was surprised to discover that drivers need to “police themselves.” It made him think about his developing driving habits, that is, his conduct behind the wheel. After all, who would know except other drivers sharing the road about any misconduct on his part. We all like our independence. Yet, when we give ourselves over to the influence of the Holy Spirit, allowing the Spirit to “get into our head,” to be our guardian and guide, we become independently dependent on the One who will lead us through this life into the next.
Come, Gracious Spirit, move into our heads and into our hearts. Be our guardian and our guide, and over every thought and step preside. Amen.