Jesu, Jesu

This hymn was used in a church I visited recently. I love it, and it has an interesting history. Following African independence movements during the 1960s and 1970s, some Western missionaries encouraged the composition of Christian songs in African idioms. Thomas S. Colvin (1925-2000) was one of these missionaries. “Jesu, Jesu” is Colvin’s most popular hymn. The melody is adapted from a Ghanaian folk song he heard during his years of service in that country.

The reference to foot washing in stanza 1 (John 13:1-17), makes it an appropriate hymn for Maundy Thursday. However, the general theme of service is always suitable. It stresses the equality of everyone in Christ (John 13:16). All people — “rich and poor” and “black and white” — are our neighbors. I hope you enjoy it this morning.

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