• Devin Gackle

Songblog: Holy Spirit (Francesca Battistelli cover)

"Holy Spirit" written by Francesca Battistelli, 2014


I think right now we all need messages of positivity. But right now that’s hard to do.


We’re angry, and sad, and just plain fed up with bigotry and systemic racism. And there’s more - systemic sexism, antisemitism, poverty. Pretty much any kind of inequality and injustice. We don’t talk about it enough, maybe because we'd rather just go about our lives, or because it makes us uncomfortable. But I can’t even begin to imagine how uncomfortable minorities have felt their entire lives.


This song is one I was asked by the worship director and associate pastor at my church, Pastor Laura, to record for one of our recent livestream services; after the livestream, my mom encouraged me to share it outside the service. I took that to heart because the message of Pentecost comes at a pointed time.


In a nutshell, it’s about allowing the Holy Spirit to to fill us all, be aware of the people around us, and just let ourselves love. It’s about opening ourselves to our shame and letting it go so we can experience what it means to be human together.


I know I don’t speak out a lot. Not because I don’t understand, or because I ignore the problem (though in some ways, I do), but because I’m afraid of hatred, and because the mistreatment of humans depresses me so much that it keeps me up at night. I’m afraid, and a lot of the time I’m too sad and self-conscious to take any real action. But I want to be absolutely clear right now.


I am Lutheran. I grew up in an amazing church community that is dedicated to being open to all people, no matter who you are or how you identify. We’re not perfect, but we work hard to grow together. And I’m so grateful and thankful for that, because I grew up knowing the end-all be-all of truths: That God created us - ALL of us - in His image. There are no exceptions to that. None.


If your skin a color other than white, you are not an exception, you are made in the image of God.


If you are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you are not an exception, you are exactly the way God intended you to be.


If you are differently-abled or struggle with your mental health, you are not an exception, and there is nothing wrong with you.


If you are of a faith other than Christian, you are not an exception, you are a child of God.


If you are a woman, especially one who’s ever felt like it’s a man’s world, you are not an exception, it’s your world, too.


If you are a straight white male, you are not an exception, but you are also not the rule, and that’s okay.


In Pastor Laura’s words, “God’s love is not restricted to one group or one race. God created all people in his image. All people.” We are all human beings, and we are all made in the image of God. God is all of us - “every tribe, every tongue, every nation.”


Systemic problems require systemic change. But nothing will change until we admit there’s a problem, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. It begins with us.


So, Holy Spirit, fill the atmosphere.


If you would like to watch the aforementioned livestream service, click here.

To view past or future livestreams, click here.

Or, to listen to all past sermons, click here.


Lyrics:

There's nothing worth more

That could ever come close

No thing can compare

You're our living hope

Your presence, Lord

I've tasted and seen

Of the sweetest of loves

Where my heart becomes free

And my shame is undone

Your presence, Lord


Holy Spirit, You are welcome here

Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere

Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for

To be overcome by Your presence, Lord

Your presence, Lord


There's nothing worth more

That could ever come close

No thing can compare

You're our living hope

Your presence, Lord

I've tasted and seen

Of the sweetest of loves

Where my heart becomes free

And my shame is undone

Your presence, Lord


Holy Spirit, You are welcome here

Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere

Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for

To be overcome by Your presence, Lord

Your presence, Lord


Let us become more aware of Your presence

Let us experience the glory of Your goodness

[X4]


Holy Spirit, You are welcome here

Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere

Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for

To be overcome by Your presence, Lord