242

When Our Savior, Yesu, Went Away

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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

See Jesus’ own explanation of why he had to go away in John 16:5-16, and Peter’s statement in Acts 2:33.

See Acts 1:8 for a reference to the power of the Spirit; Psalm 104:30 for the power of the Spirit in creation.

See II Corinthians 13:14 for a Trinitarian blessing.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is difficult to isolate certain confessional themes in each song about the Holy Spirit. Rather, there are several themes that are woven together in nearly all of these songs. The Holy Spirit is identified as one with the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity; we plead for the coming and indwelling of the Spirit in our lives; the Spirit’s work is evident in creation and in God’s people throughout redemptive history; the Spirit calls and empowers the church for mission; and the Spirit is the source of power, fruit, and hope. These themes are expressed in confessional statements such as these:

  • Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 20, Question and Answer 53 testifies, “…the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.” In addition, the Spirit “makes me share in Christ and all his benefits, comforts me, and will remain with me forever.”
  • Our World Belongs to God has helpful references to these multiple themes of the Spirit’s work and ministry.
    • “Jesus becomes the baptizer, drenching his followers with the Spirit, creating a new community where Father, Son and Spirit make their home” (paragraph 28)
    • “The Spirit renews our hearts and moves us to faith… stands by us in our need and makes our obedience fresh and vibrant” (paragraph 29).
    • “God the Spirit lavishes gifts on the church in astonishing variety…equipping each member to build up the body of Christ and to serve our neighbors.”
    • “The Spirit gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation into the unity of the body of Christ” (paragraph 30).
    • “Men and women, impelled by the Spirit go next door and far away…pointing to the reign of God with what they do and say” (paragraph 30).  
  •       Our Song of Hope also contributes very clearly regarding the Spirit’s work:
    • “The Holy Spirit speaks through the Scriptures…has inspired Greek and Hebrew words, setting God’s truth in human language, placing God’s teaching in ancient culture, proclaiming the Gospel in the history of the world” (stanza 6).

    •  “The Holy Spirit speaks through the church, measuring its words by the canonical Scriptures…has spoken in the ancient creeds, and in the confessions of the Reformation” (stanza 7).
    • “The Spirit sends [the church] out in ministry to preach good news to the poor, righteousness to the nations, and peace among all people” (stanza 16).
    • “The Holy Spirit builds one church, united in one Lord and one hope, with one ministry around one table” (stanza 17).
    • The Spirit calls all believers in Jesus to respond in worship together, to accept all the gifts from the Spirit, to learn from each other’s traditions, to make unity visible on earth” (stanza 17).

“…The Spirit works at the ends of the world before the church has there spoken a word” (stanza 20).

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When Our Savior, Yesu, Went Away

Confession

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor
to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them,
he is the one who loves me.
He who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
Let us confess our sin to God.
—based on John 14:15-17, 21, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

In his divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit,
Christ is not absent from us for a moment.
By the Spirit’s power
we make the goal of our lives not earthly things
but the things above where Christ is,
sitting at God’s right hand.
Through the Holy Spirit
Christ pours out his gifts from heaven upon us his members.
The Spirit, as well as the Father and the Son, is eternal God.
The Spirit has been given to us personally
so that by true faith
the Spirit makes us share in Christ and all his blessings,
comforts us, and remains with us forever.
—from Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A’s 47, 49, 51, 53
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

You have given yourself to us, Lord.
Now we give ourselves for others.
You have sent your Holy Spirit and made us a gifted people.
As people of Pentecost,
we will serve you and proclaim your good news with joy.
Your glory has filled our hearts.
Help us to glorify you in all things. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:34]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Almighty God,
send us out filled with your life-giving Holy Spirit,
that we may proclaim your gospel through our words and deeds.
May your Spirit lead, equip, and empower us to
bring you glory now and always. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

We praise you, Jesus Christ, our risen and reigning Lord,
that you kept your promise not to leave us as orphans in this world:
You sent us your Spirit to abide with us always.
As we depart from this time and place of worship,
we ask you, O Spirit of Jesus:
Protect us from the evil one and from our sinful selves,
help us to live daily for our Lord,
prompt us to bless and serve others, and
open our mouths to bear witness to the gospel.
And, our earthly journeys ended, bring us home at last
to enjoy fellowship with the saints
and to worship and adore you, O Triune God, forever and ever. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Loving God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank and praise you for raising Jesus from the dead,
the firstfruits of your new creation,
and for sending your Spirit, that we too
may have new life in Christ.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
We thank and praise you
for the power and promise of your Holy Spirit
to lead and guide us in all our ways.
Help us live in accordance with your Spirit,
setting our minds on what the Spirit desires,
so that we may be joyfully alive in Christ.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
We thank and praise you that the Spirit testifies to us
that we are your children and that through the Spirit
we can approach you in confidence as our compassionate Father.
Thank you that as co-heirs with Christ, we will share in his glory.
Comfort us with the knowledge that your Spirit also helps us in our weakness
and intercedes for us according to your will.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Spirit,
one God, now and forever, Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Eternal God, our Father, you are the source of our being,
the breath of our life, and the joy of our living.
We know that you delight in the worship of your children
and that you eagerly send your Holy Spirit upon us.
As your Spirit came upon your people of old,
giving them understanding and the knowledge of truth,
so send your Spirit today,
that we may speak in words not taught by human wisdom,
but taught by the Spirit.
Your Spirit came upon the prophets.
You sent your Spirit to your Son and your church,
giving them each power and wisdom to follow your ways,
speak your truth, and accomplish your purposes.
So grant us your Spirit with all fruit and equipping gifts,
that we may reflect your glory
and the world might believe,
for the honor of your holy name. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of abundant love,
we thank you for the gift of your Spirit,
poured out on all who live in Christ.
May these gifts be our response of abundant love;
use them to bless others [name the specific cause],
through Christ, our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
242

When Our Savior, Yesu, Went Away

Tune Information

Name
NYOHENE
Key
f minor
Meter
9.9 refrain 8.8

Recordings

242

When Our Savior, Yesu, Went Away

Author Information

Tom Colvin (b. 1925; d. 2000) was trained as an engineer and worked in that profession in Burma and Singa­pore from 1945 to 1948. After studying theology at Trinity College, Glasgow University, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1954. He served as missionary in Nyasa­land (now Malawi) from 1954 to 1958, in Ghana from 1958 to 1964, and again in Nyasa­land from 1964 to 1974. His work there included preaching, education, and community development. After completing his missionary work, Colvin became a minister in the United Reformed Church of England and served an inner-city church in London. He returned to Africa in 1984 as a development consultant to the Zimbabwe Christian Council. Colvin's writings include Christ's Work in Free Africa (1964) and three collections of hymns, many written in collaboration with African Christians–Free to Serve (1966), Leap My Soul (1976), and Fill Us with Your Love (1983).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

John Bell (b. 1949) was born in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, intending to be a music teacher when he felt the call to the ministry. But in frustration with his classes, he did volunteer work in a deprived neighborhood in London for a time and also served for two years as an associate pastor at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam. After graduating he worked for five years as a youth pastor for the Church of Scotland, serving a large region that included about 500 churches. He then took a similar position with the Iona Community, and with his colleague Graham Maule, began to broaden the youth ministry to focus on renewal of the church’s worship. His approach soon turned to composing songs within the identifiable traditions of hymnody that found began to address concerns missing from the current Scottish hymnal:
 
I discovered that seldom did our hymns represent the plight of poor people to God. There was nothing that dealt with unemployment, nothing that dealt with living in a multicultural society and feeling disenfranchised. There was nothing about child abuse…, that reflected concern for the developing world, nothing that helped see ourselves as brothers and sisters to those who are suffering from poverty or persecution. [from an interview in Reformed Worship (March 1993)]
 
That concern not only led to writing many songs, but increasingly to introducing them internationally in many conferences, while also gathering songs from around the world. He was convener for the fourth edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church Hymnary (2005), a very different collection from the previous 1973 edition. His books, The Singing Thing and The Singing Thing Too, as well as the many collections of songs and worship resources produced by John Bell—some together with other members of the Iona Community’s “Wild Goose Resource Group,” are available in North America from GIA Publications. 
— Emily Brink
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