Video: “Sweet Holy Spirit/Be Thou My Vision” with Interpretation

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The following is a creative explanation of some points (not exhaustive, by any means) of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, followed by its interpretation:



The purpose of this video is to illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit in creation, providence, and redemption. In every act of God in Scripture, each person of the Trinity is present. We do not read of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit acting independently of one another. The Bible demands praise, honor, and glory to be given to the Triune God.

Purpose of the Piano

In Genesis 1, we read that the earth was void, dark, and without form, but the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. This teaches that God’s Spirit participated in creating the universe. After God made man, He breathed life into the man, making him a living being, and in John 6:63, Jesus says that it is the Spirit who gives life. The Spirit descended on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, at His baptism to guide and empower Him for ministry. The Spirit was poured out at Pentecost on the believers who were present, and He has been poured out on every believer since, empowering and guiding them to fulfill the Great Commission. Throughout the video, nothing else is illuminated but the keys and the sheet music. This teaches that without the Spirit’s working in the world, the world remains lifeless. The piano symbolizes the created order, and the sheet music symbolizes God’s unchanging plan, which is revealed in Scripture. The Spirit never acts contrary to the Scriptures.

Purpose of the Hands

I chose not to show a bodily figure to illustrate the words of Jesus concerning the Spirit in John 3:8—“the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes…” Though I do not support using the phrase “Holy Ghost,” we cannot predict much of the work of the sovereign Spirit. Having only hands instead of a bodily figure retains the mystery and majesty of the Spirit. The “hand” or “finger” of God is a common image demonstrating God’s work, not just in creation, but throughout the Bible. In Deuteronomy 9:10, we are told that the law is written with the finger of God. And then Paul tells the Corinthians that they themselves are a letter from Christ, “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.” God writes within creation by His Spirit.

Purpose of the Music

When the Spirit of God works, He turns chaos into order, dullness into vibrancy, and darkness into light. At the beginning of the video, the viewer sees an old dusty piano, which symbolizes the created order, and when the Spirit arrives, symbolized by the hands of the pianist, He begins working out a plan which was written in eternity past (symbolized by the sheet music) (This counters Deism by showing that God works in time as a personal Being). An example of this is found in Romans 8:11 where Paul says, “…The Spirit who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies.” The Spirit who raised the dead body of Christ will also save us from death.

When singing the hymn “Be Thou My Vision,” the Christian must not neglect the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the vision for the New Covenant believer in guiding, directing, and teaching. In Psalm 139, David equates the presence of the Spirit with the presence of God. The addition of “Sweet Holy Spirit” emphasizes that it is proper to sing praises to the Spirit. Andrew Wilkes added an improvised bridge between the hymns to demonstrate that the work of the Spirit is never dull and/or choppy, but His work is fluid, bringing all things together in one accord.

Purpose of the Filming Technique

Finally, the viewer will notice that the video is edited simply. I filmed it using one prime lens, limiting the angles and approaches that I could make towards the subject. This symbolizes our limited knowledge and vision of the work of the Holy Spirit. Not yet arriving at complete knowledge, we possess a “lens of faith” guided by Scripture. We are limited in what we see of the glory of God and the work of the Holy Spirit because of our sin and our being part of a fallen world. At the same time, we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another—seeing more of God’s glory everyday—becoming more like Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our limited point of view should not frustrate us or drive us to despair, for “when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”



Written by keywoodblog

February 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Bible, Gospel, SBTS, theology

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