Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Communion" by Louie Williams Hamby

This morning, as we reflected on Christ's beckoning call for personal relationship, I shared a poem written by my grandmother, Louie Williams Hamby. She died when I was six years old, so I don't have many memories of her. But I am inspired by her poetry and art (she wrote and painted). This particular poem reflects some of her contemplative side. Here is a photo of the original poem along with some of her handwritten notes, with the text of the poem below.

Rev. 3:20

As sunset fades its radiance
And twilight brings its plea;
A knock - a voice - and waiting;
"Lo, I will visit thee."

I swing the door with gladness
For Christ, our Lord is there.
He comes to dine as promised
And mutual goodwill share.

He counsels me with courage
He lights the path grown dim,
As we sit and sup together,
I adoring him.

Ne'er earth holds such communion
Nor love so sweet can be,
As we sit and sup together,
And thus he blesses me.

Mrs. C.P. Hamby

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Water and Spirit

This Sunday was one of my favorite Sundays of the Christian year. It's deep. It's powerful. It's rich.

We held a baptismal remembrance service. I just love sacramental spirituality. Getting in touch with our baptism is getting in touch with our core identity. Our identity is not wrapped up in success, achievement, pleasing people, or accumulation. We are God's beloved! The same voice that said at Jesus' baptism, "this is my beloved," rings at our baptisms too. If we truly lived out of our belovedness, and saw others as beloved by God as well, the world would be changed.

We shared this hymn I wrote years ago for my son's baptism, and it occurred to me that I have never shared the text on the blog. So here it is. It can easily be sung to SLANE, which many know as the tune associated with "Be Thou My Vision."

"Water and Spirit"
Baptismal Hymn by Stephen P. West
Suggested tune: SLANE
Originally published in “Alive Now”
Set to music, with publisher’s notes, on the GBOD Worship Website.

Water and Spirit are joined in this place,

Visible sign of a spiritual grace,

True act of God, not earned but received,

Love we have known before we were conceived.

Eternal streams of your life water flow,

Creative power one day we will know.

First from the womb, and now from the bowl,

Clean us and wash us by making us whole.

Children of God we forever will be,

Marked with the sign of the flood and Red Sea.

Elder and child are born from above,

Graced with the freedom that leads us to love.

“Water and Spirit” by Stephen P. West, copyright 2006 Stephen P. West, all rights reserved.