Come, Holy Visitor

"pulse of the universe, Spirit of God!"

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray

Lyrics as Poetry

Come, holy visitor,
come as you came,
wind as your signature,
fire tongues aflame;
come, holy challenger,
changing the scene,
moving the furniture
where dust has been!Come, new interpreter,
go-between Word,
come in all languages
spoken and heard,
meanings and messages
clearly received,
wonders and miracles
birthed and believed!Come, constant traveller
mapping new lines,
leaping the borders
tradition defines,
come, holy energy,
love’s lightning rod,
pulse of the universe,
Spirit of God!

Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 2006 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
from her book
“Touch the Earth Lightly” (#6):

“Written after singing the usual conventional hymns on Pentecost Day. This is my idea of the vibrancy, whimsy and interpretive power of the Holy Spirit. I looked for new images for ‘disturbing the peace’ if peace meant any sense of settling complacently in our pews, hence ‘moving the furniture’ and challenging the status quo.”

Touch the Earth Lightly
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA

A Reflection by

Catch your breath. Catch the Spirit’s breath. Here is a hymn with just the right music crafted for it. Here is a hymn to shake us up, to shake us up with Spirit newness.

Who is this Visitor who comes? This Visitor is the Holy Challenger. The New Interpreter, the Go-between Word. The Constant Traveller. The Holy Energy.

This is the Challenger who met Moses in the desert when a bush burned and was not consumed, when I AM announced “I have heard my people’s cry!” This is the Challenger who met Elijah in the still small voice calling that prophet out of hiding, and centuries later had given a task to Isaiah who had thought all hope was lost because the relied upon political system of his day had collapsed. This Challenger told Jonah to get his sorry self to Nineveh where there was a message of change that not only needed to be proclaimed but which would be heard and acted upon.

This Challenger Visitor hit Paul like a bolt of lightning on the Road to Damascus, worked to enliven the faith communities through the ages, raised up healers and justice-seekers and enspirited the dis-spirited.

It’s all part of the unfolding drama of creation and of re-creation.

An often-repeated piece of folk wisdom warns us to “Be careful what you ask for.” When we speak or sing a prayer invoking the Spirit, that might be worth thinking about. As the poet quietly reminds us many of us don’t like to have anyone “moving the furniture where the dust has been”. Not in our churches, not in our routines, not in our comfortable and too familiar creeds and current definitions of good and proper behaviour! Dust gathers in our hearts and minds, settles in our souls. With that awareness, the poet says, “Come, holy visitor, come as you came, wind as your signature, fire tongues aflame; come, holy challenger, changing the scene …”

To think of the Spirit as “New Interpreter, Go-between Word” provides us with an intriguing entry into the intention and activity of God and therefore into another aspect of discipleship. In our life journeys there have been those people who have been gifted interpreters for us – helping us to understand ourselves, others with whom we interact (or refuse to), our world. Such guides have often been gentle people seeking truth — not promoters of their truth. They operate out of trust which helps us trust ourselves and therefore to trust others. They see the humanity in us and skillfully call it forth so that we can see it in others. “Blessed are the peace-makers,” said Jesus. To be clear, he did not say “Blessed are the white-washers”, a motto of the self and situationally satisfied.

“Come, holy energy,
Love’s lightning rod,
pulse of the universe,
Spirit of God.

An ActivityThink of a time when you have experienced a major blowing away of the dust that had been uncovered when a piece of furniture in your mind, heart, soul, got shifted. What experiences were part of that? Anger? Guilt? Hurt? Resistance? Liberation? What changes followed – in thinking, relationships, actions ?

Reread the poem. Then, if you can, sing it!

Thanks be to God! And to Shirley Erena Murray, and to Ron K.


                                                    Audio Sample for "Come, Holy Visitor"

First verse and tag ending
sung by David Moddle

Scripture References

  • Genesis 1:1-3
  • Exodus 3:1-8a
  • 1 Kings 19:1-13
  • Isaiah 6:1-8
  • Jeremiah 1:4-8
  • Jonah 1:1-3
  • Luke 1:26-56
  • John 14:25-27
  • John 20:19-23
  • Acts 2:1-13
  • Acts 2:1-21
  • Acts 9:1-19
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
  • 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
  • Galations 5:22-25

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Boundaries, Borders
  • Challenge
  • Change
  • Christian∶ journey
  • Lent
  • Pentecost
  • Spirit
  • Tradition∶  freedom from tradition
  • World

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