Jesus, Teacher and Friend

High voice version

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

Lyrics as Poetry

Jesus, teacher, brave and bold,
let us serve you, young and old.
Let us faith-filled workers be,
all around your wisdom see.
Let us play and dance and sing,
your goodness find in everything.

Jesus, friend, so strong and true,
show us good, brave work to do.
Show us those who need a friend,
all things broken help us mend.
Free our minds and stretch our care,
teach us to serve you everywhere.


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1967 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song


BY WALTER FARQUHARSON

This is a special hymn for me, one of the first I wrote. In 1973 I had taken the words with me when I went to the Prairie Christian Training Centre at Fort Qu’Appelle to lead a workshop on the place of hymns in worship with Dr. Isabelle Mills of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. I hoped there to find someone interested in composing a new tune for this text. Ron Klusmeier had come to that workshop in part to see if I had other texts other than what had appeared in The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada 1971. I left the workshop with Ron’s new tune written for these words and a sense that an amazing bond of friendship and creative partnership had been formed. Upon my arrival home, my wife Joan’s affirmation of the happy wedding of words and music sealed the deal.

From the beginnings of my hymn writing, Joan had insisted that I needed to write hymns with children in mind – hymns that reflected the experiences and questions and convictions of our own young family and hymns that would help shape their faith and their attitudes to life. We also shared a conviction that any hymn appropriate for children would be appropriate for adults. It would not in any way be condescending and a collection of them would express an honest mix of knowing and not knowing. Such hymns and songs would also stir to life in the adults who sang them with children the child-likeness that Jesus had spoken of as an essential aspect of Christian discipleship.

The gospels make it clear children were attracted to Jesus and that he had time for them. Too many hymns for children were written to underline the importance of obedience and often subservience instead of a creative and vital discipleship of service.

“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild” is not an image that matches Jesus of the gospels. This hymn, “Jesus, teacher, brave and bold”, presents an alternative picture of the one who embodies God’s love and intention.

I see children as doers, movers, helpers, learners, explorers, adventurers. They seek out the good, that which calls forth joyful response and laughter. They tend to appreciate the menders and fixers that can fix their bikes, tie their skates firmly, help a wounded animal, dry tears and mend a torn page in a favourite book.

There is good brave work for them (and each of us) to do. There are bullies and oppressors to stand up to. There are homeless people, hungry people, discarded and forgotten people.

Even when the news, or where we stand, is bad – as it often was for Jesus – we can dare to “play and dance and sing and goodness find…”.  And that is not escapism!


Audio Sample

JESUS, TEACHER AND FRIEND
(high voice)
One Verse
played on piano by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • Mark 1:14-22
  • Mark 2:1-12
  • Mark 10:13-16
  • Luke 10:25-37
  • John 13:1-17

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Children∶ music for
  • Commitment, Dedication
  • Intergenerational
  • Jesus∶ friend
  • Jesus∶ teacher

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