Select Page

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
I know very little about the author of this well known children’s hymn.  Her name was Anna Bartlett Warner. I just read that she was an American writer of some books and poetry, much of which was turned into hymns and children’s songs.  She was born in Long Island, NY, died in Highland Falls, NY and lived from 1820-1915. This poem was written for a dying child at the request of her sister, Susan and was later put to music.

1 Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
they are weak, but he is strong.

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

2 Jesus loves me he who died
heaven’s gate to open wide.
He will wash away my sin,
let his little child come in. [Refrain]

3 Jesus loves me, this I know,
as he loved so long ago,
taking children on his knee,
saying, “Let them come to me.” [Refrain]

Now, for the message of the song.What could be better than for our children to know that Jesus loves them? There are many things we learn at church. Things we intend to teach people and things we don’t.  One thing we want to teach our children who grow up in our churches is that Jesus loves them.  It is true because the Bible tells them, but the truth of the love of Christ is something we convey by the way we treat our children at church.
  • Do we show that we love them?  That we are genuinely glad they are there?
  • Do we get to know their names?  Or as they get older, do we get to know their interests?
  • Over time, do we make an effort to get to know them and their families?
  • Are we aware that for some, church may be a place of retreat from a messy, troubled home.  (They aren’t always the homes we think either.)
  • Do we provide an encouraging, uplifting environment where people can come and know that Jesus loves them…not because we’re simply filling their heads with lots of facts, but because we’re showing them we are glad they are there, we love them, we want to encourage them and we want to encourage them as they grow in their faith.

It’s a combination of head and heart that we minister to when we minister to people…children or adults.

As for the verses, the last one I’ve only heard a couple of times.  The first  verses are the ones I’m most familiar with.

Finally, I want to tell you about Jonathan.  I was with him in Sunday School to help him be able to participate despite many physical and mental limitations when he was 5.  He was not able to talk…still isn’t at age 16.  However, he has always been very responsive to music.  In Sunday School, he always lit up when this song was sung or played.  It was amazing!  He would smile, laugh and sometimes even clap his hands.

Isn’t it great how he could sense the truth of this song on some level?

It is the church with the good combination of  ministry to the heart…giving loving support and encouragement to those who are part of their congregation plus ministry to the mind and soul with good solid teaching and theology.

Most churches tend to miss one of those two and it is costly to their people in terms of growth.  We must understand that growth includes the community of believers ministering to each other from the heart…with grace.