Monday Musings for June 11, 2017
Some friends of ours were traveling through Wyoming recently. They sent me a picture of a bar server they had met. They told me this bar server has a famous great, great, great, great aunt. (I’m just guessing on the “greats”.) She is the great, great, great, great (?) niece of Anna Bartlett Warner, the author of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know”.
Anna lived from 1827 to 1915. She was an author and a poet. One of her books has an intriguing title. Written in 1892, she called it Tired Church Members. Guess they had them back then, too!
Anna’s sister, Susan was also an author She wrote a novel in 1860 called, Say and Seal. At one point in the novel, little Johnny Fax is very sick and near death. He is being comforted by his Sunday school teacher and asks for a song His Sunday school teacher sings to him, “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.”
Susan got the words to this song from her sister, Anna. It had never before been published and it did not yet have music to go with the words. The music was added in 1862 by a man named William Batchelder Bradbury. (He also wrote the music to “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and “Just as I Am, Without One Plea.” He has no known relatives who frequent bars.)
Of all Christian songs, “Jesus Loves Me” might be the one that is best known and most loved. It never gets old. Even tired church members never get tired of it.
I shared at our Sunny Ridge communion service last week the “senior version” of this song. I’m guessing there are very few of you reading this who cannot relate. It goes like this:
Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow.
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.
Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes, Jesus love me; The Bible tells me so.
Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I’ll go
On through life, let come what may,
He’ll be there to lead the way.
When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song.
Telling me in words so clear,
“Have no fear, for I am near.”
When my work on earth is done,
And life’s vict’ries have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I’ll understand His love
I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.
It’s a great song with a great message, but I leave you with this to ponder: “Jesus loves me. This I know. Jesus expects something of me. This I forget.”