1. From the air and from the light,
from the water and the ground,
God, you gave this world its shape,
made it smell and feel and sound:
from the crisp of early dawn,
colder than our skin can bear,
to the heat of rock and sand
boiling in the summer glare.

2. And you made this little child —
God, your act of love is good —
though the process may be known,
still its hardly understood.
This new life is one more sign
of your kindness to us all,
born of closeness, two made one;
like the rain these wonders fall.

3. From the air and from the light
waters break, a cry is heard;
still another wonder comes
from the water and the word:
son or daughter of the earth,
rushing blood beneath the skin,
drowned by God's own flood of tears,
raised with Jesus, free and clean.

4. Resurrected, born again,
rescued from the power of death;
child of air and child of light,
now you breathe the Spirit's breath.
You can live for timeless days —
you are not the Devil's toy -
bought by Jesus, owned by God,
you are heaven's pride and joy!

1992. Airdre Luka is Dale and Heather Hancock's "miracle baby", born after many years of a marriage without children. I had wanted to write a song for her baptism, hadn't done it at the time (lack of time? unready?), but finally wrote this song for the baptism of another child - Jordan Yeomans. Airdre = of/from the air, Luka = of/from the light. Where "Father Welcomes" celebrates the coming home, family images, this focuses on creation, and especially the new creation (2 Cor.5:17). From a St Stephen's Youth Camp (Tania Newhouse?): v.1 CREATION from materials / elements — air, light, water, ground v.2 CREATION of child — from God's love and human love v.3 CREATION / Birth X2 — 1) natural 2) baptism v.4 NEW CREATION i.Death > life ii.natural > Spirit iii. Time > eternal iiii. Devil > God I started work on it one early morning in January when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. I've done this quite often, and I believe it's God who wakes me up on these occasions, with some particular task in mind. (To the person who believes in God, this kind of explanation of such occurrences seems perfectly natural. Others may think the person is slightly bonkers. I'm often a bit reluctant to talk about such "leading" by the Holy Spirit - I like being seen as sane and reasonable, and anyway, it is often practised as a kind of spiritual one-upmanship, e.g. "This is how God led me - I must be more important than you!" Still, there are many people I meet at "the right time", books or movies I'm led to read or see, music I'm led to hear. Spooky? Of course, but the world belongs to God, and God's Spirit is always coming up with new tricks.)

Thanks ...

Last Monday, November 19, I got back home after a 4 week trip, mostly in Queensland.Only possible because of
Ray Shillabeer.
He's been my driver for the past 7½ years, for trips to Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. He likes to label himself as 'Ray the Roadie', but he's a lot more than that. For the churches & schools I've sung at, we both set up the sound gear - the amps, guitars et al. He then retires to a back seat, while I sing & play. Afterwards, at schools, we take the gear down together. But at churches, he looks after the gear, while I talk with people & sell CDs & books. We get to stay with people most places , & we both love meeting people, enjoying their terrific hospitality.
This trip was his swan-song. I know he's enjoyed the driving & meeting people, but I still don't know how to say thank you. In his modest, self deprecating way, he'd reject the label of 'Servant of Christ', but he's been that for me, & together we've been able to serve people in many places.