Loving in Truth and Action: A New Hymn, I John 3:16-18

By Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
1 John
Photo by Billy Alexander

“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”

On April 29th, many churches will be hearing this reading from I John 3:16-24 as the Epistle Lesson for the Revised Common Lectionary for the Fourth Sunday of Easter/Year B. Here is a new hymn inspired by this biblical teaching for compassion:

Jesus, We Know Your Love in This

ST. CATHERINE (“Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me”)

Jesus, we know your love in this:
You gave your life to save us all.
You died so we would all be blessed,
And in this gift, we hear your call:
What are you willing, Church, to do?
How will you love as I’ve loved you?

We are weighed down by what we own,
While those who lack the world’s goods die;
Even in places near to home,
Poor, hungry people daily cry:
What are you willing, Church, to do?
How does God’s love abide in you?

Teach us, O Lord, your way to live;
Serving your world means sacrifice.
Loving means we will freely give —
Sharing our goods, our skills, our lives.
Make us a church that’s bold and new —
Dying to self, to live for you.


Biblical References: 1 John 3:16-24
Tune: Henri Frederick Hemy, 1864; altered by James George Walton, 1874.
Text: Copyright © 2012 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: [email protected]  New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/


Bruce and Carolyn GilletteCarolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor (Discipleship Resources/Upper Room Books, 2009) and Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship (Geneva Press, 2000); she and her husband Bruce serve as the co-pastors of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Sojourners’ past postings by her includes hymns for Maundy Thursday/Jesus’ arrest, Palm/Passion Sunday, Ash Wednesday/Social Justice,  World Water Day, Blessing of the Animals, relief efforts in the Horn of AfricaSeptember 11th anniversarycreation care, economic justice, Matthew 25/disaster relief, immigration, the Gulf oil spill and war in Iraq. A complete list of the 200+ hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, many with peace and justice themes, can be found at www.carolynshymns.com.
Dolores Bundy at a Conference with Rev. Dr. King Jr., http://womenandspirit.org/
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