Loving Spirit

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray

Lyrics as Poetry

Loving Spirit, loving Spirit,
you have chosen me to be,
you have drawn me to your wonder,
you have set your sign on me.Like a mother you enfold me,
hold my life within your own,
feed me with your very body,
form me of your flesh and bone.Like a father you protect me,
teach me the discerning eye,
hoist me up upon your shoulder
let me see the world from high.Friend and lover, in your closeness
I am known and held and blessed:
in your promise is my comfort,
in your presence I may rest.Loving Spirit, loving Spirit,
you have chosen me to be,
you have drawn me to your wonder,
you have set your sign on me.

Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1987 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
from her book
“In Every Corner Sing” (#48):

“Written as a simple reflection into images of God, this has now been used in many ways. It was sung to a setting by I-to Loh during the Lima Liturgy at the World Council of Churches Assembly at Canberra, and for the Installation of the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1989. It has found a place in ordination and commitment services.”

In Every Corner Sing
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA

A Reflection by hymnwriter

Once again Shirley Erena Murray has provided us with a hymn that is profoundly intimate and relational. We humans often live with the illusion that we seek out God, Wisdom, the Divine, the Holy. What the hymnwriter has done is to proclaim, again, that the God known in Scripture, the God present in Jesus, the God of the everywhere empowering Spirit, seeks us out.

In part that is why many of us try to argue our way into or out of belief. That is why many of us find ourselves resisting the ever-present God. The God of this hymn draws us into places of wonder. To be drawn into a place of wonder is to be drawn into an act of worship and often of worship that is marked by gratitude and a mysterious wholeness or holiness.

“You have chosen me to be.” I am not an accident. I, and my living, have purpose, meaning. I matter. And so do those others with whom I share space and time – and life in the loving Spirit that will not abandon me, or any of “those others”. I have no solitary being. I exist only in relationship – to community, to creation, to the permeating and enfolding Spirit that is life, gives life, shapes life.

Awareness brings to life another facet of this relationship. I am marked, “You have put your sign on me.” Again, this is individual. And it is communal. It is sign of belonging to the All-ness we name God. The sign is the call to know love, to practice love, to share and delight in love. It calls me with others into caring, welcoming, forgiveness, restoration, healing.

Even when I want to quit, I cannot. I am enfolded, held and nurtured. I am lifted on strong shoulders and helped again to see what there is to see, know what there is to know. Bruised or broken, I am being healed, yet again. I am known. Seen for what I can be. Seen for what I am even when I cannot see the possibilities, when I cannot accept as true the hope and promise others, and the Spirit, can still see in me.

We are marked. By the Spirit. Marked as belonging to God, followers of Jesus whose task is to give flesh to the amazing love of God expressed in justice, compassion, healing.

An Exercise: Choose the image from this hymn that most catches your attention. Ponder it for the next few days. When it feels right to you, write a few sentences about it and about why you chose it. Share what you thought/wrote with another person.

Audio Sample for "Loving Spirit"

Verses 1 & 4
sung by David Moddle

Scripture References

  • Psalm 139:1-18
  • Luke 3:21-22
  • Luke 4:16-21
  • Luke 15
  • John 14:15-19
  • John 14:25-27
  • John 15:16
  • Ephesians 1:4

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Commitment, Dedication
  • Father, Fathering
  • Friend, Friendship
  • God∶ love of
  • God∶ nature of
  • Grace
  • Human Relationships
  • Love∶ God's
  • Mother, Mothering
  • Promise
  • Relationships∶ relationships with others
  • Spirit
  • Trust
  • Wholeness

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