Jesus, I Come

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: MARTINBOROUGH

Lyrics as Poetry

Jesus, I come
trusting your kindness,
knowing my need,
lost in my blindness:
you are the sense
giving life its meaning,
you are the truth
from the beginning.Now as I grow,
use and affirm me,
and when I doubt,
touch me, reclaim me;
when there is pain,
heal me and hold me—
cloak of your love
cover, enfold me.All that I am
Jesus, I offer,
all I achieve,
all I may suffer,
all whom I love
for your compassion,
all I hold dear
for your possession.


Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1992 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
SHIRLEY ERENA MURRAY
from her book
“In Every Corner Sing” (#45):

“…for words of dedication
or a commitment service.”


In Every Corner Sing
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA


A Reflection by hymnwriter
WALTER FARQUHARSON

There is a gentleness, a wistfulness, an amazing intimacy, in this song and in the music created for it by Ron.

While these elements have always been present in much of Christian mysticism and spirituality it has not necessarily been something many of us are comfortable with. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, complained that the hymns of his brother Charles were too often overly sentimental and even maudlin.   Many hymns written decades later, often referred to as gospel hymns, spoke to the heart more than the mind. “I need thee every hour”, “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling”. “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine.” These belong to the gospel hymn genre. It was the expression of need and the assurance of a comforting presence that endeared these hymns to many. They were expressions of intimacy and of an intimacy between a loving God and the singers who longed to be held, comforted, treasured. Ironically, many of these same hymns held expressions of a judging, offended, God who demanded expiation achieved through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. For the most part, the singers were not bothered by these contradictory words and concepts – they were safe – safe in the arms of Jesus.

The intimacy spoken of and longed for could be the intimacy of a loving mother or father, of lovers, of siblings, of soulmates and friends. It could be sexual in nature, or not. It may be that our need for intimacy and our ability to offer intimacy is what makes us human. It is what gives rise to an awareness of our being children of God, created in the image of God. We are created not only to have a deep relationship with God, but also with one another and with creation itself as a manifestation of the holy. Our love for God is expressed in our love for each other and for the created world around us. It is a sensual, experienced, intimate love – not a theoretical concept, but love that must continually take flesh. It is profoundly incarnational.

The second telling of creation, in the Adam and Eve chronicle of Genesis in chapters 2 and 3, does not name sexuality as the root of their alienation from God, one another, and creation as parts of the Church have too often proclaimed. The shame which Adam and Eve experience is not embarrassment because they are sexual and relational beings. Their shame arises from their inability to name and honour the reality that they are creatures of desire, attraction, celebration and need. And that need, that vulnerability, reflects the very nature of God who declares this vulnerable creation “Good”. Our sin is that we do not want a vulnerable God and we do not want to address our own vulnerability and need for intimacy.

It is difficult for us to speak of love and of intimacy, of need and desire, of our nakedness. As a society we turn to seeing all of these as commodities which we find ways to package, promote and market. And, if these cannot be appropriately presented for sale, we offer or seek out pale substitutions. Or, we turn what was gift into source of power, into instruments of subjugation or abuse.  

Let’s return to the words of Shirley Erena Murray’s hymn. “Jesus, I come, trusting your kindness, knowing my need …”.  

Throughout the New Testament, the word translated “faith” is almost better translated “trust”. Lack of faith is our capitulation to the forces that constantly warn us to distrust. When we become driven by apocalyptic fervour we tend to turn from living with trust, and trust that acknowledges vulnerability and risk, to affirming some absolute truth however preposterous that may be. We place our faith in what turns out to be an anti-Christ. We listen to the voices that specialize in sowing suspicion, distrust, and hatred.

Many of these “voices” claim for themselves absolute power and they demand loyalty and blind adherence to their judgements and their calls for action.  In the name of “truth” they will quickly sacrifice the very standards and values they insist they are championing. The way is paved for political tyranny governed by expediency, and for religious and quasi-religious demagoguery. The cult of personality may exist in expansive displays involving thousands and even millions but it is also manifested in small groups, congregations and communities. From Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness throughout his ministry, the choice confronted him, sometimes even in the expectations of his closest followers. Would he exercise power in its usual patterns or would he persist in choosing the way of service and vulnerability?   

The second verse of Shirley’s hymn provides a clear and poignant description of discipleship that seeks to know and then practice, the need and vulnerability of Jesus-style love.

“Now as I grow, use and affirm me, and when I doubt, touch me, reclaim me; when there is pain, heal me and hold me – cloak of your love cover, enfold me.”   

Affirm me. Touch me. Reclaim me. Heal and uphold me. Cover, enfold me.  

Just as we need to be reminded that we must pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”, so we need to be reminded that we must also pray as the singular child of God seeking a depth, an intimate knowledge of, God’s presence within us and enfolding us. We pray and sing as did the Psalmist, “He makes me lie down in green pastures… he restores my soul.”  

The last verse of this hymn is clearly a personal and intimate offering to God made by the poet/hymnwriter. When it becomes ours, it places us in the very heart of God’s being. We bring with us all our relationships, all our commitments, all our achievements, all our suffering, all our experiences of pain and alienation. It is place and time of intimacy and ecstasy.  

Savour each part, each phrase, each word. Amen.

“All that I am, Jesus, I offer, all I achieve, all I may suffer –  all whom I love for your compassion, all I hold dear for your possession.”


An Activity: Even if you have stopped, or perhaps never started, saying prayers out loud, over the next few days try this: Just as Shirley did, address Jesus. Do it conversationally. Use language that is personal, intimate. Admit that there are things you can talk about quite easily, some things you can only talk about with hesitancy or with carefully phrased wording. Try to go where it is hard to go. The need we have for intimacy urges such candour.

                                                    Audio Sample for "Jesus, I Come"

One verse played on piano

Scripture References

  • Genesis 2:4b-3:12
  • Psalm 23
  • Psalm 139:1-14
  • John 15:8-11

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Commitment, Dedication
  • Intergenerational
  • Jesus∶ compassion
  • Jesus∶ friend
  • Jesus∶ healing
  • Jesus∶ kindness
  • Jesus∶ truth
  • Lent
  • Offering, Offertory
  • Sustenance

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