235

Spirit, Working in Creation

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Like 416, this text is a biblical study of the ministry of the Holy Spirit: in creation and inspiration (st. 1), in the life of Christ and his people (st. 2), and in the church (st. 3). Although the emphasis is on the work of the Spirit, the text clearly recognizes that the Spirit always points to Christ. 
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is difficult to isolate certain confessional themes in each song about the Holy Spirit. Rather, there are several themes that are woven together in nearly all of these songs. The Holy Spirit is identified as one with the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity; we plead for the coming and indwelling of the Spirit in our lives; the Spirit’s work is evident in creation and in God’s people throughout redemptive history; the Spirit calls and empowers the church for mission; and the Spirit is the source of power, fruit, and hope. These themes are expressed in confessional statements such as these:
  • Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 20, Question and Answer 53 testifies, “…the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.” In addition, the Spirit “makes me share in Christ and all his benefits, comforts me, and will remain with me forever.”
  • Our World Belongs to God has helpful references to these multiple themes of the Spirit’s work and ministry.
    • “Jesus becomes the baptizer, drenching his followers with the Spirit, creating a new community where Father, Son and Spirit make their home” (paragraph 28)
    • “The Spirit renews our hearts and moves us to faith… stands by us in our need and makes our obedience fresh and vibrant” (paragraph 29).
    • “God the Spirit lavishes gifts on the church in astonishing variety…equipping each member to build up the body of Christ and to serve our neighbors.”
    • “The Spirit gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation into the unity of the body of Christ” (paragraph 30).
    • “Men and women, impelled by the Spirit go next door and far away…pointing to the reign of God with what they do and say” (paragraph 30).  
  •       Our Song of Hope also contributes very clearly regarding the Spirit’s work:
    • “The Holy Spirit speaks through the Scriptures…has inspired Greek and Hebrew words, setting God’s truth in human language, placing God’s teaching in ancient culture, proclaiming the Gospel in the history of the world” (stanza 6).
    •  “The Holy Spirit speaks through the church, measuring its words by the canonical Scriptures…has spoken in the ancient creeds, and in the confessions of the Reformation” (stanza 7).
    • “The Spirit sends [the church] out in ministry to preach good news to the poor, righteousness to the nations, and peace among all people” (stanza 16).
    • “The Holy Spirit builds one church, united in one Lord and one hope, with one ministry around one table” (stanza 17).
    • The Spirit calls all believers in Jesus to respond in worship together, to accept all the gifts from the Spirit, to learn from each other’s traditions, to make unity visible on earth” (stanza 17).
“…The Spirit works at the ends of the world before the church has there spoken a word” (stanza 20).
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Spirit, Working in Creation

Call to Worship

God will pour out the Spirit on all flesh,
and our daughters and sons shall prophesy.
Our old ones shall dream dreams,
and our young ones shall see visions;
and all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.
Come, let us call upon the name of the Lord.
—based on Acts 2:17-21
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

We trust in God the Holy Spirit,
everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers
in the one body of Christ, the church.
The same Spirit
who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed,
claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.
In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, Come, Lord Jesus!
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
—from A Brief Statement of Faith
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

The Holy Spirit sends the church
to call sinners to repentance,
to proclaim the good news
that Jesus is personal Savior and Lord.
The Spirit sends us out in ministry
to preach good news to the poor,
righteousness to the nations,
and peace among all people. Amen.
—from Our Song of Hope, st. 16
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

You have given yourself to us, Lord.
Now we give ourselves for others.
You have sent your Holy Spirit and made us a gifted people.
As people of Pentecost,
we will serve you and proclaim your good news with joy.
Your glory has filled our hearts.
Help us to glorify you in all things. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:34]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Almighty God,
send us out filled with your life-giving Holy Spirit,
that we may proclaim your gospel through our words and deeds.
May your Spirit lead, equip, and empower us to
bring you glory now and always. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

May the Holy Spirit fall upon you, encompass you, and support you.
May the Holy Spirit transform you, lead you, and equip you.
May the Holy Spirit give you encouragement, strength, and comfort
to serve and worship our triune God both now and forever. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Loving God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank and praise you for raising Jesus from the dead,
the firstfruits of your new creation,
and for sending your Spirit, that we too
may have new life in Christ.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
We thank and praise you
for the power and promise of your Holy Spirit
to lead and guide us in all our ways.
Help us live in accordance with your Spirit,
setting our minds on what the Spirit desires,
so that we may be joyfully alive in Christ.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
We thank and praise you that the Spirit testifies to us
that we are your children and that through the Spirit
we can approach you in confidence as our compassionate Father.
Thank you that as co-heirs with Christ, we will share in his glory.
Comfort us with the knowledge that your Spirit also helps us in our weakness
and intercedes for us according to your will.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Spirit,
one God, now and forever, Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Creator Spirit, create in us eagerness
to care for the world.
Spirit of Christ, fill us with urgency
to share our joy in our Savior and Lord.
Spirit of holiness, transform our lives
to be beacons in a world of shadows.
Spirit of truth, compel us to see the truth
and make us advocates of justice.
Spirit of wisdom, shower us with wisdom,
that we may best discern how to serve the world.
Advocate, intercede on our behalf for these and other unspoken requests
that weigh heavy on our hearts and minds. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Eternal God, our Father, you are the source of our being,
the breath of our life, and the joy of our living.
We know that you delight in the worship of your children
and that you eagerly send your Holy Spirit upon us.
As your Spirit came upon your people of old,
giving them understanding and the knowledge of truth,
so send your Spirit today,
that we may speak in words not taught by human wisdom,
but taught by the Spirit.
Your Spirit came upon the prophets.
You sent your Spirit to your Son and your church,
giving them each power and wisdom to follow your ways,
speak your truth, and accomplish your purposes.
So grant us your Spirit with all fruit and equipping gifts,
that we may reflect your glory
and the world might believe,
for the honor of your holy name. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of rushing wind,
coming from where it wants
and going to where it wants,
pour out your Spirit upon us.
God of fire,
flaring on gathered disciples
and burning away their stubborn pride,
pour out your Spirit upon us.
God of miraculous speaking and hearing,
amazing the faithful
and riveting their attention to what is about to happen,
pour out your Spirit upon us.
God of the young who see visions,
of the old who dream dreams,
of male prophets and female prophets,
pour out your Spirit upon us.
God of wonders above and signs below,
God of blood and fire and billowing smoke,
God of blackened sun and bloodied moon,
pour out your Spirit upon us.
You raised up Peter to prophesy on Pentecost,
Peter to preach straight truth to a crooked generation,
Peter to accuse people he loved of complicity in the death of Jesus;
pour out your Spirit upon us.
God of wind and fire and tongues,
God of visions and dreams and prophecies,
God of signs and wonders,
pour out your Spirit upon us.
You raised up Peter to preach Jesus to a skeptical audience,
and with the two-edged sword of Peter’s word
you cut through the armor of a crooked generation,
you pricked their hearts and saved them.
Great God, send your Spirit to save us too.
You sent your Spirit to assail hard hearts.
You sent repentance and faith,
baptism and forgiveness,
teaching and fellowship, communion and prayer.
Great God, send your Spirit to save us too. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
 
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
235

Spirit, Working in Creation

Tune Information

Name
SUNRISE
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
8.7.8.7 D
235

Spirit, Working in Creation

Hymn Story/Background

With John Stainer's ALL FOR JESUS tune in mind, John Richards wrote this text in 1978. It was published in Cry Hosanna (1980) in ten four-line stanzas. The original stanzas 1 and 2, 4 and 5, and 8 and 10 are included in three eight-line stanzas.
 
The text is a biblical study of the ministry of the Holy Spirit: in creation and inspiration (st. 1), in the life of Christ and his people (st. 2), and in the church (st. 3). Although the emphasis is on the work of the Spirit, the text clearly recognizes that the Spirit always points to Christ.
 
Sometimes known as OMNI DIE, SUNRISE was first published in the 1768 Supplementum to the Luxembourg Kyriale. After its inclusion in Gesang und Gebetbuch (Trier, 1847), the tune gained popularity. SUNRISE attained its name because of its publication with William Bright's morning hymn "At thy feet, O Christ we lay" in Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised (1950).
 
A bar form (AAB) tune, SUNRISE is marked by a number of repeated tones. The active harmonization will delight choirs and challenge part-singing congregations. Sing stanzas 1 and 3 in unison with brisk accompaniment; sing stanza 2 in harmony unaccompanied.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

John Richards (b. Bournemouth, Hampshire, England, 1939) received his education at St. John's College in Durham, Emmanuel College in Cambridge, England, and Queen's College in Birmingham, England. Having served as the curate at several parishes in southern England and as a school chaplain, he is currently the director of Renewal Services, a parachurch organization. Richards has published several books, including Exorcism, Deliverance and Healing (1976) and The Church’s Healing Ministry (1986).
— Bert Polman
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