I’m always on the search for interesting worship music.

Recently, I stumbled on some songs from Church of The Beloved, a Lutheran Church plant across the pond in Edmonds, Washington. Beloved is on my bucket list of nearby Churches to visit in the next couple years. (Beloved is also sister parish to Church of the Apostles – also on the list – and, at least from what I’ve heard, the two represent some of the more interesting younger church plants in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions – and both compose a lot of their own worship music – but I digress.)

One of the songs from Beloved that I downloaded to my iPod a while back is based on the words of Martin Luther and is called “Come Holy Ghost”.
One day, it randomly started to play while the kids and I were driving in the car.  The words, backed by a haunting tune went like this:

Come Holy Ghost. Come God and Lord.
with all your grace on us outpoured.
Come Holy Light. Come Guide Divine
now cause the Word of Life to shine.
Come Holy Fire and Comfort True
grant us the will your work to do.

I was prepared to hit skip and move ahead to a more palatable Raffi or Sharon, Lois and Bram tune (always favorites) so as to not ‘lose’ the vibe I had going with the kids.

However, quite instantly, our 3-year old Zion was engaged and entranced by the words.

Zion: Did they say ‘ghost’ daddy?  Go back to that song!

It’s funny how our seemingly anachronistic terms might open up a whole theological world for a child.  While many of us strive to only use more theologically and linguistically correct terms like “Holy Spirit” to refer to the third-person of the Trinity, sometimes the Spirit – or, uh, Ghost – moves in spite of what we may think is best in terms of correctness and innovation.

As the song played, the ensuing conversation was akin to an old, responsive catechism:

Zion: Daddy, is this Ghost friendly? Daddy:  Yes, Zion, very friendly.
Zion: Daddy, where does the Ghost live?  Daddy:  The Ghost lives everywhere, especially in our hearts.
Zion: Daddy, is the Ghost dead?  Daddy: No this Ghost is alive.
Zion: Daddy, is the ghost scary?  Daddy: No, the Ghost comforts us – though sometimes the Ghost might startle us or challenge us.
Zion: Daddy, does this Ghost talk to us?  Daddy:  Yes, in many different ways I believe.
Zion: Daddy, does the Ghost bring us things?  Daddy: Yes, very many gifts – and also fruits.

And so the dialogue went.

These days, “Come Holy Ghost” is the top song request around our house (along with “Fish and Chips and Vinegar”, but that’s another story).  And every time the song is played, the questions begin, usually with slight variations  (What are the fruits, Daddy?  What are the gifts?  Daddy, is the Ghost like Jesus? How?).  

I’m always amazed how questions about God, truth, beauty, justice, love, faith, prayer and the like pop up in the strangest, most unlikely places in a child’s world.

I’m grateful that we used to call the ‘Holy Spirit’ the ‘Holy Ghost’.

But mostly, I’m ever-thankful that the questions of a child, seeing ancient truths and mysteries through fresh eyes, can remind us all about the deepest wonders and gems of our spiritual traditions.

And to all that, I echo the words of Luther and say: come Holy Ghost – cause the Word of Life to shine!


You can listen to “Come Holy Ghost” here – as well as check out Church of the Beloved’s more recent worship project here.