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.)

2021 - Where do we go from here?

Breezin' along in my Japanese coupe, breezin' along with the windows down. The dog keeps sniffing the air - he's got an empty head but he's alright. We've got time to spare, time to get where, we don't know, and who cares?

And the days go fast and the nights go faster
Lord, where do we go from here?
Lord, where do you want me to be? (© Robin Mann 1972)

Some questions keep on coming, and this is one of them.
The pandemic has put a hold on so much, and while Australia is in a better position than many, uncertainty remains.

Two weeks ago I  finished a song 'In the year that's coming'. It ends with:

May your love shine through us,
every day renew us,
keep on coming to us, 
stay with us
in the coming year.