Jesus, Our Friend


“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing;  but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you.”  John 15:15

Joseph Scriven, author of the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” lived a rather tragic life.  He immigrated to Canada in 1845 following the sudden death of his fiancée.  He fell in love again, and this time his intended contracted tuberculosis and also died before they could be married.  Joseph poured himself into ministry and charity work, living a simple life.  This story is written about him:

“Until a short time before his death, it was not known that he had a poetic gift.  A neighbor, sitting up with him in his illness, happened upon a manuscript copy of “What a Friend We Have In Jesus.”  Reading it with delight, and questioning Mr. Scriven about it, he said that he had composed it for his mother, to comfort her in a time of special sorrow, not intending that anyone else should see it.  Some time later, when another neighbor asked him if it was true he composed the hymn, his reply was, ‘The Lord and I did it between us.'”

I hope you enjoy this hymn, as I always have, and use it as an opportunity to meditate on the wonderful gift we have:  friendship with Christ.


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