Jesus Came, a Child like Me

An all-ages song

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: READ

Lyrics as Poetry

Jesus came, a child like me,
so the face of God I’d see,
God is not left far away,
God is with us every day.

Live, Jesus, near us,
live, Jesus, with us,
live, Jesus, in us,
come live in us today.


Jesus came to show us all
ways to answer our God’s call
came to show us how to share,
came to live with God’s own care.

Live, Jesus, near us,
live, Jesus, with us,
live, Jesus, in us,
come live in us today.


Jesus came, God’s work to do,
came to live in me and you,
came to turn the world around
till God’s peace and love are found.

Live, Jesus, near us,
live, Jesus, with us,
live, Jesus, in us,
come live in us today.


Jesus came to show God’s face,
live God’s love, and be God’s grace.
God lives now in me, in you,
God’s at work in what we do.

Live, Jesus, near us,
live, Jesus, with us,
live, Jesus, in us,
come live in us today.


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1975 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

BY WALTER FARQUHARSON


The language of faith is a
language of relationship.

American Episcopalian theologian and educator, John Westerhoff, described the creeds as the love songs of the church.

We use languages of science and engineering, of psychology and sociology, of economics and politics. Quite apart from the different languages spoken in different parts of the world (such as English, Urdu, Bantu, Japanese), we invent languages for almost every human endeavor and discipline. Musicians have their own language. Each sport develops its own language. The languages of technology defy all efforts to be current. Many of these languages quickly become obsolete, leaving some of us in a place of unknowing that has little to do with the unknowing described by mystics.

Even the languages of religion and theology can become isolated from experience and relationship and require translation for new generations. Think of words such as salvation, redemption, sin. If they are known at all, they are subject to a great variety of interpretations.

The language of faith is a language of relationship and experience.

It dances, incorporating the well known and mystery, having room for paradox – a sort of eternal “on the other hand”.

The ancient Christian teaching of the trinity, God known in three persona, is a classic example of that which seeks not to be something mathematical or philosophical but rather a dance.

“Live, Jesus, near us.
Live Jesus with us.

Live Jesus in us.

Come, live with us today.


Pursuing the Theme Further

(Reader, please note that what follows is taken directly from An Audacious Invitation (pages 171-173) and reflects on John 14:8ff.  According to John, Jesus has much to tell his disciples at this, the last meal he will share with them. The portions in italics were written by my writing partner, Jeff Cook, co-author of An Audacious Invitation. Throughout the book we move back and forth between his voice and mine.)

What the disciples are promised is that what lies ahead…  is consistent with what they have already known. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, the life.” They understood that saying in terms of what they experienced and trusted. They knew doubt, they knew fear, but they also knew love and they trusted that love to hold them. They had come to believe that such love was the very essence of God’s being and the source and foundation of life itself. Within this love they lived, loved and had their being.

Jesus reiterated for his followers this reality – they knew him. They heard what he said and saw what he did. They knew him as intimately as any person can know another, and they knew themselves as people known, and still loved, by him. They had come to know God present in this relationship. “Is that not enough?” Jesus asks.

It is heady stuff. How could close disciples hear it when their world was collapsing? “If this is too hard,” Jesus says, “hang on to what you have seen. The blind were given sight, the deaf could hear, the crippled danced for joy, prisoners were released from what seemed eternal captivities. Hang on to that.” They had indeed seen all that. Some had personally experienced one or more of these gifts, gifts that were also signs or previews of God’s unfolding New Day.

A little referenced statement Gospelwriter attributed to Jesus demands attention. “I tell you, the one believing in me will also do all the works that I do, in fact, will do even greater works than these.” Imagine Gospelwriter talking about this within the community, again teasing hearers into truly giving attention. “Listen to this. Roll it around in your mind. Let it nibble at your conscience and imagination. It is a key to understanding the core of the message we proclaim. 

Most scholars writing about Gospelwriter’s work speak of the way he portrays  a divine rather than a human Jesus. I believe this poet evangelist speaks of divinity, of what is holy, coalescing with humanity. Certainly many Christian writers held an image of God much more outside the human story than is the case with this gospel.

“You will do what I have done, and more,” says Jesus. So radical is this statement, it must be authentic. The distance between Jesus and us, between gospel times and ours, is compressed. Jesus is no longer the stranger of Galilee but becomes our contemporary. I understand that his call to me, and to all who hear the call, is to embody in our world today who Jesus was and what he did.  Jesus’ presence must be contemporized and re-contextualized.

Re-membered is the operative word from the Eucharistic celebration.

(Jesus says we will do what he has done and more. We cannot excuse our actions by saying “I’m only human”. To be human is to bear the image of God, to be a healer, a prophet. It is to be the host at a table to which all are welcomed. To be human is to be a relative of Jesus.)

Threads of interpretation wind back and forth throughout this dialogue, repeating Jesus’ call for followers to love one another. As followers become more effective and persistent practitioners of that love, their witness will convince and draw in yet others.

(In all the seeming complexity of John’s words, the word ‘love’ keeps emerging.  It is a refrain in detective movies that one should ‘Follow the money.” In John the refrain is “Follow the love.” Follow the trail of love. Even if you can’t fathom all the images and words and metaphors and poetry, if you stay focused on the love present in these stories, in one’s own life, and the love one is capable of offering to others, then you will understand this gospel, even if you don’t understand the words on the page.)

The disciples are promised that when Jesus is no longer physically with them they will see him in each other and in the ways in which love changes and redeems lives and communities. The dance between what the Father will do, what Jesus of the discourses will do, and what the Spirit, the Advocate or Comforter will do, continues. Taking on a life of its own, the dance draws into itself the entire company of believers. The dancing company, renewed and raised, can dance right out into the world embracing, healing, liberating. 

This power-filled poetry resists formation into lineal propositions. Some question whether this passage is Trinitarian. Gospelwriter would probably answer, “Only if you are prepared to dance, probably not if you attempt an explanation!”


From “AN AUDACIOUS INVITATION”, pp 171-173
by Walter Farquharson and Jeff Cook

An Audacious Invitation
(A compelling reflection
on the Gospel
according to John)
is available from:
Walter Farquharson
Box 126
Saltcoats, SK   S0A 3R0   Canada
farq.blueheron@sasktel.net

 


Audio Sample

JESUS CAME, A CHILD LIKE ME
One Verse & Refrain
played on piano by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • John 1:1-5
  • John 1:14-18
  • John 14:15-31

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • All-ages
  • Children∶ music for
  • Discipleship
  • God∶ nature of
  • Intergenerational
  • Jesus∶ children

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