Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 6, 2010

Number One Song

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Can you guess what is considered the number one spiritual song for children?  It is heard around the world in different languages.  It is a song that many can sing, even if they have not gone to church in years!

“Jesus Loves Me” is the song!  Probably everyone reading this blog will confess they have heard it.  It is an amazing song.  It is easy to sing, and the words relate a biblical truth.  How it came to be is an interesting story.

Susan B. Warner was a famous 19th century writer.  She had a sister, Anna Warner.  As Susan was writing a novel, she asked Anna to write a poem that she could use in her story.  Susan wrote of a scene where a Sunday School teacher  wanted to cheer up a dying boy.  The teacher would hold the young boy and repeat the poem.

The poem written by Anna are the words of “Jesus Loves Me.”  In was used in the book written by Susan.  You know the words–at least the first verse and refrain.  Why not sing them? 

                        (Verse)  “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 

                                          Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong.  

                    (Refrain)   Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!

                                          Yes, Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so.”

There are six verses to the song.  David McGuire later added several of the stanzas.

In 1860, William Bradbury read the best selling novel of the 19th century, Say and Seal, by Susan Warner, and he was captivated by the poem.  He was touched by the scene of the teacher quoting the poem to the young child.  As he envisioned the scene, he began to hum and set the words to music.  He then added the chorus.

These two sisters, Susan and Anna, have touched unknown millions, as has Bradbury.  The two sisters, who never married, lived in a house on Constitution Island, right across from West Point Military Academy.  They opened their home to the cadets and held a Sunday School class for most of their years.  It is reported that they are the only two civilians buried in the cemetery at West Point.  What influence these ladies had, and still have today!

William Bradbury, who brought forth a tune that is so known and loved, has likewise touched lives through the ages.  He was asked before his death why this song had made such an impact on people.  He responded, “I believe everyone has a deep need to know God loves.”  And I agree!

Sometimes we think we have little to offer to God.  Yet, there can be some things we do that seem unrelated to the sharing of God’s love, that become the main conduit of God’s love in that person.  Today, be conscious that you are as important in the kingdom of God as Susan, Anna and William.  Through the ages, someone’s life will be touched by you!  You have a God-given ability.  Write a poem, sing a song, share comforting words . . . or give a smile!  Just let God’s love flow through you!  As with the Warner sisters and William Bradbury, they simply expressed the gift God had given them.  Use your gift today!

” . . . the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  (Galatians 5:6)  “Each one has his own gift from God . . . .”  (1 Corinthians 7:7)  “Do not neglect your gift . . . .”  (1 Timothy 4:14)  “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you . . . .”  (2 Timothy 1:6)

Lawson

  

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks, Lawson, for the reminder to let God love and work through us each day. And thanks, too, for the story about Anna and Susan. I’m almost embarassed to admit (as a “children’s person”) that I’d not heard about them….or maybe I’ve forgotten. Surely not!

    Comment by Maggie King — July 6, 2010 @ 9:41 am | Reply


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