As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Monday, September 19, 2011


This is a hymn for Pentecost to the tune of The Cave by Mumford and Sons.  It draws heavily on the Orthodox liturgy for the feast.

Our human hearts, by wickedness inspired
At Babel, were united in their pride
You tore our tower down
and caused our one tongue to divide

Holy Spirit come, we pray again
Wash away our idols, make us clean
Burn in us all that is not of You
And dwell within

The Babel curse turn back
The ruin, wreck and wrack 
Unite our broken tongues again

The Babel curse unmake 
Our fallen, flesh tongues take
And give to us the tongues of flame 


And so Your Holy Spirit, You sent down
To the twelve disciples gathered 'round
All who heard the Word in their tongue
marveled at the sound

The orators were once unlettered sons
Theologians formed from fishermen
Proving the philosophers to be
the foolish ones.

The slow-tongues, now enflamed,
The One-Who-Is proclaimed
And sophists silenced with the Word

For tongues of fire baptized
The simple men made wise
Who caught the whole world in their net


So let Your Spirit fall in seas of fire
Our daughters and our sons may You inspire
The young and old, the slave and free
be caught up in the pyre

And make my heart Your home
For You and You alone
Can make my sin-soiled spirit fresh

And take our hearts of stone
For You, and You alone
Can give to us a heart of flesh

The lyrics are pulled from the sources below.  The Orthodox prayers seemed to flow along three themes:
- Fire
- Giving wisdom to the ignorant
- Uniting the tongues that were divided at Babel

Ultimately, the song is meant to tell a story.  
- Our tongues were divided at Babel, when we were united in pride and wickedness
- They were re-united at Pentecost when we were given the flaming Tongues of the Holy Spirit
- A plea for further healing and unity today

The Holy Spirit gives all things, 
makes prophecies flow, 
perfects priests, 
taught the unlettered wisdom, 
revealed fishermen to be theologians …

When you sent down your Holy Spirit to the Apostles as they were sitting,
Then the children of the Hebrews saw it 
and were beside themselves with amazement;
For they were hearing them speaking in other, strange tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them,
For though they were simple men, they have been made wise;
And having caught the nations for the faith, were preaching things divine …

Blessed are you, Christ our God, 
Who revealed the fishermen to be most wise 
by sending down to them the Holy Spirit 
and so, through them, catching the whole world in a net.

The slow of tongue, covered in divine darkness, proclaimed the law written by God.
For shaking the dust from his mind’s eye, he sees the One Who Is,
And is initiated into knowledge of the Spirit as he gives praise with songs inspired.

When the power of the divine Spirit came down, 
it divinely united in one harmony the voice divided of old 
of those who had wickedly agreed together

Inapprehensible is the blaze of the Godhead, 
for it revealed the unlettered to be orators
Bridling the mouths of Sophists in abundance with the Word

Joel 2:28-32
Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; 
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, 
your old men shall dream dreams, 
and your young men shall see visions.  
Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, 
I will pour out my spirit. 
I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, 
blood and fire and columns of smoke. 
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, 
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; 
for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, 
as the Lord has said, 
and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Ezekiel 36:25-28
I will sprinkle clean water upon you, 
and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, 
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; 
and I will remove from your body the heart of stone 
and give you a heart of flesh.  
I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes 
and be careful to observe my ordinances.  
Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; 
and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


Blogger Aevel said...

This is great. Seriously. The whole pyre and fire through death and flames. I like it. You must have some amazing students!

8:21 PM  

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