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Holy Wisdom

As we come to celebrate the coming of The Spirit, this weekend, I am indebted to Professor Ken MacKinnon for this beautiful hymn, rich in biblical imagery and as always to the art work of Georgia O’Keeffe.
Rev Julia

Holy Wisdom


1. She hovered o’er the waters

And breathed a world to birth

As God marked its foundation

She formed the shapeless earth,                         Helpmeet and co-creatrix,

And consort of His throne,                                In God, His world and children,

Delighting in each one.

3. She made her home in Zion,

And with our Saviour too

As John announced Messiah,

Descending into view,

Some heard a voice like thunder,

Some saw a heavenly dove:

The whole fount of the Spirit,

The fullness of God’s love.


2. As guide unto the nations

She led a chosen race

By night and day a Presence

Across the desert’s face:

They saw a cloudy pillar,

At night a shaft of fire,

The signs that God’s own Spirit

Would lead them and inspire.


4. Emboldened by the promise                              Made by their risen Lord,

His people met together

Were following His word,                                 They felt a wind had risen,                                And saw Her living flame

The breath of God’s own Spirit

In fullest measure came.

5. God’s people o’er the ages

Knew of Her ancient fame:

As Hokhma and Sophia –                                  For Wisdom was Her name –

As cloud upon the altar,

As Holy Spirit who

As Counsellor and Presence

Is Heavenly Mother too.



Composition: written on Whitsunday 08.06.2003 Copyright © 2003 Kenneth MacKinnon


Tune: Hymns & Psalms 478(i) BENTLEY.  May also be sung to 515 AURELIA..


Notes:   v. 1:  Genesis 1.1’ Proverbs 8.30a, Wisdom  9. 4, Proverbs 8. 30b – 31;

  1. 2: Numbers 9. 15; v. 3: Wisdom 9. 8, Ecclesiasticus 24. 8 – 12, John 1. 29 –

                   34,  Matthew  3. 16 – 17, Mark 9. 11 ; Luke 3. 2, Gospel of Hebrews (in

                  Jerome  on Isaiah);  v. 4: Luke 24. 49, John 14. 16, Acts 2. 1-3;

  1. 5: Proverbs 8,  Wisdom 9: 17 , Ezekiel 10. 4, John  16. 7, Galatians 4. 26.