I wrote the baptismal hymn text “Come here by the waters” early last year, and though several pastors have told me they have used it in worship, I had never heard it sung by a congregation until this morning.
We worshipped this morning at the church in RI where my daughter, Rebecca, is pastor. She administered five baptisms, and they sang my hymn. She has chosen it before, but never when I was present.
She made a clever move with it that I hadn’t thought of. She divided the first two verses and the final two, singing the former before the baptisms and the latter right after. This makes sense because the first two are invitational (“come bring us your child) and the latter two are blessings (Bless us with your presence, your Word, and your power) and doxologies. Here are the words.
Come Here by the Waters
Come here by the waters, come bring us your child.
We’ll call on God’s Spirit, so loving and wild.
These people and parents will speak their firm vow.
This child full of blessing belongs to Christ now.
Your promise enduring will follow her* days,
And lead to a life filled with service and praise.
You’ll bless her** and keep her** and always be there,
Through life’s many changes you’ll watch her with care.
Bless us with your presence, your Word, and your power,
That we may be faithful in every new hour.
Let church be a place that is brimming with love,
And bless these dear children with grace from above.
We praise you and thank you for all you provide,
For blessings and graces that reach far and wide.
Praise Father, praise Son, and the Spirit divine,
Both now and forever, and far beyond time.
(*or his, or their) (** or him, or them)
Tune: Cradle Song 188.8.131.52.
© Richard L. Floyd, 2015
(To learn more about this hymn, and for both accompaniment and melody line reproducible music go here. Photo: R.L. Floyd, 2016)