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.
The image of heavenly doves landing gently upon astonished people paints a lovely picture. But it’s quite the opposite of what happened on that Day of Pentecost according to Acts 2. There was lots of noise, a violent wind, and tongues of fire. A holy chaos was in the works. Why aren’t our worship services noisier! Perhaps we could learn to appreciate “holy noise” just as much as “holy silence?” But then what would we do with all that noise?
While the hymn doesn’t necessarily reflect the chaotic activity of Acts 2, it does convey the graciousness of the Holy Spirit. The lyrics are gentle, yet they powerfully convey what life means for those who invite the Spirit’s presence.
No matter what the world throws at us—and the world will do its best to throw us its worst—we will not be defeated. Our gracious Spirit promises to always accompany us, bringing light, truth, and the assurance we are not alone.
Come, gracious Spirit, fill us with light and truth and help us to share the fullness of joy we’ve experienced in the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.