Behold, I gather all to me

Behold, I gather all to me

Our song we sing in praise of God who swirled
Over chaos, hov’ring Wisdom, birthing the world.
Each word you spoke was so – and so was good.
Now, O Wisdom, on your Sabbath, sing if you would— / Refrain

To slaves who cried to you from out their pain,
God of freedom, God of justice, in pow’r you came.
To gifts of law and land you led the weak,
Birthed a people, after your heart, who hear you speak—

And when your people sought to shut the door
‘gainst the Gentiles, ‘gainst the eunuchs, against the poor,
Then prophets spoke the passion of your choice
For the outcast –  for the voiceless, they raised your voice— / Refrain

In Christ your holy Wisdom dwelt on earth
Preaching welcome, bringing wholeness, and sharing mirth.
Though crucified, the resurrected One
Sends the Spirit, to God’s people: the song goes on—

Our song we sing in praise of God today;
God who claims us, God who names us, both straight and gay.
And each is safely kept beneath your wing:
Loving holy, living fully, because you sing— / Refrain

Refrain (after vv. 1, 3, 5):
Behold, I gather all to me; those I gather, I set free.
Behold in me all things are new:
At first light, and then in Christ, and now in you.

Text: David R. Weiss, b. 1959 (text, 2007, © 2008 David R. Weiss)
Tune: Trad. El Condor Pasa (“Flight of the Condor”) arr. Mary Howarth –  © 2007 Mary Howarth

Permission is given to photocopy Behold I Gather for use in worship.

Author’s Note: This hymn uses a traditional Peruvian folk melody, El condor pasa (“Flight of the Condor,” made familiar in the US by the Simon and Garfunkel song, “If I Could”). The words make “welcome” the biblical theme from creation to Exodus to prophets to Jesus to Pentecost … to us. The verses are in the voice of the people; the refrain is in God’s voice—and is intentionally triune, echoing God’s movement as creator, redeemer, and sanctifier.

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