Come, Holy Spirit down from above!
    And fill us all with heaven’s love.
Your waiting people ready stand,
    With steadfast heart, and willing hand;
Oh Lord, the time has surely come;
    Your truth has made us all as one;
The world in sin and sickness lies;
    Oh send Your power and make Your light arise!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.


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The Catholic church had taught that the Holy Spirit was received through the Sacraments, which could only be administered by a priest. This put a power into the Catholic hands which they wielded to further their aims: if a king or nation did not cooperate with them, then they withheld the Sacraments, which the superstitious people believed to be synonymous with “cutting them off from God’s blessings.” The king then either cooperated, or faced the pressure of being deposed by his alarmed people.

The Protestants rightly taught that the Spirit came through the Word of God, and that it took faith on the part of the believer in order to receive the Spirit. This put the power back into the hands of God, and His Word.

A minister could be an agent to deliver the Word, or it might come personally through reading the Scriptures; but in either case, faith on the part of the recipient was the essential requirement, and the Word was the vessel by which the Holy Spirit was imparted.

The original German song was called “Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott”, and consisted of three verses, the first written by an anonymous 15th century German poet, the last two written by Martin Luther in 1524.

I’ve reduced it to one verse, and changed the words for this song to make them more relevant for our times.

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