238

Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

Scripture References

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, Spirit of Gentleness

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

Since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we now stand.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
—Romans 5:1-2, 5, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

Optional charge and blessing (Gal. 5:22-23, 25; Rom. 15:13)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.
May the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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

Come, Creator Spirit, and move over this chaotic world.
Come, Creator Spirit, and bring life to this world.
Come, Creator Spirit, and move over the chaos of our lives.
Come, Creator Spirit, and bring us new life. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 35:20]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Spirit of fire,
who came as a rushing wind breathing life and hope
into dead bones and cold hearts,
we praise you for the comfort and guidance
you have given the church throughout the ages:
for your presence in creation, especially . . .
for changing hearts and guiding decisions as evidenced in . . .
for your work through the church universal . . .
for your presence in our worship . . .
for your sanctifying work in our lives . . .
Holy Spirit, we pray for your comfort and guidance
as we care for creation . . .
for the nations of the world . . .
for our nation and its leaders . . .
for this community and those who are in authority . . .
for the church universal as it works on your behalf . . .
for this local church in its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray in the name of the Father and the Son,
who live and reign together with you,
one God forever and ever. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Gracious God, your Holy Spirit hovered over the waters at creation.
You made a world that was breathtaking and life-giving.
Sin invaded this world and shattered it.
Pollution, disease, and natural disasters plague our world.
God, our provider, heal the sick, give peace to the dying,
shelter the homeless, and protect the vulnerable.
With your Holy Spirit, renew your creation.
When you formed humanity, you breathed your spirit into us.
You walked in the garden. You wanted fellowship with us.
Our sin separated us from you, so we live in a world of pain and hurt.
Some are hungry. Some are lonely. Some are empty.
Almighty God, giver of strength, feed the hungry, quench the thirsty,
support the orphans, uplift the depressed, and free the downtrodden.
With your Holy Spirit, point us to new life in Christ.
You called a people to be your own and to be a light to the world.
Throughout the world your church suffers.
Some are mocked for professing your name. Some are killed for praying to you.
Some pursue personal preferences rather than loving unity.
God, our refuge, shield from harm those who love you,
surround us with your mercy, and gird your church with the fruit of your Spirit.
With your Holy Spirit, empower your church to witness to your glory.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit we pray.
Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
238

Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

Tune Information

Name
SPIRIT
Key
D Major
Meter
irregular
238

Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

Hymn Story/Background

James K. Manley wrote this hymn while on a sabbatical leave at the School of Theology at Claremont, California to finish his doctorate. It was first sung at Waiokeola Congregational Church in Honolulu, after which Manley added the fourth stanza at the suggestion of a church member. The song was first published in his collection After Eden (1990) with an arrangement by Jim Strathdee. 
— New Century Hymnal Companion

Author and Composer Information

James K. Manley (b. Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1940) received his education at Whittier College, Pacific School of Religion, and Claremont School of Theology, all in California. He was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Christ in 1966. He served as pastor of Congregational United Church of Christ in San Marino, California, from 1978 to 1988 and then moved to Foothills United Church of Christ in Los Altos, California. 
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