January 20, 2021
INVITATION and READING
Jesus is all the world to me:
My life, my joy, my all.
He is my strength from day to day;
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go;
No other one can cheer me so.
When I am sad, He makes me glad;
He’s my Friend.
John 15: 9-17
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Thank you, Jesus, for these words of love and friendship. May they bear fruit of love and friendship in our hearts and minds. Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
“Jesus Is All the World to Me” (UMH #469) is a favorite that was sent to me by a church member, and loved by others, I’m sure. This style of hymn evolved from the gospel song tradition of the mass revival movement of the 19th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_music
Such hymns were usually easier to sing and understand, but, most notably, they emphasized a close personal relationship with Jesus. Words and music composed by Will L. Thompson (1847-1909), and first published in 1904, “Jesus Is All the World to Me” indeed views Jesus as the truest of friends. A model for us to live and love without limits because we are transformed by His love.
It was a good exercise for me to just read the poetry and find the messages each stanza contains. Themes of Christ’s mercy, power, and protection are returned with our following Him in faith, trust, and abiding love. And in so doing, we find eternal life in Jesus, our Savior.
“Beautiful life with such a Friend;
Beautiful life that has no end!
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my Friend.” Amen and Amen!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to offer me such an unparalleled and steadfast friendship. I confess that I too frequently forget to trust in your love, and fall prey to the forces that pull me away from you. I ask your forgiveness and now turn back to you as my truest friend and guide.
You have chosen me, and appointed me to carry your love and friendship throughout this world.
May I use the grace and comfort I find in your loving arms to fulfill your commandment to me – to love each other… to love each other… may I never forget. Amen.
Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries