Judy Johnson, Music Director
I love pairing traditional church hymns with contemporary songs, and am thankful that modern composers have provided many such pairings. It’s a meaningful way to appreciate the time honored music and poetry of years ago while at the same time finding something new that further amplifies the original ideas.
One such blending that we’ve done a few times is The Heart of Worship with My Jesus, I Love Thee. The church where composer Matt Redman served was undergoing some upheaval in the worship wars, and the pastor decided to strip away all the instruments and sound system for a while. When they were brought back in 1999, Redman wrote this song and said, ‘Worship is all about Jesus, and He commands a response in the depths of our soul no matter what the circumstances and setting.
While the exact details that inspired 16-year old William Featherstone to write the words of My Jesus, I love Thee in 1864 are not known, the words were so powerful to Adoniram Gordan, the man who later founded Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, set them to a new melody and had it published. Featherstone’s words represent a
personal worship. ‘My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine. For Thee all follies of sin I resign.’
These songs, written over a hundred years apart, combine to help us express our heartfelt feelings of worship. May you strongly feel the presence of God as you worship with us”.