Last week I asked, “Is the faith we sing the life we live?” I suggested that perhaps Christians should pay closer attention to the words they mouthed when singing Christian songs.

The importance of music to the Christian faith (and to all of life) cannot be underestimated. We are deeply indebted to those who have written the lyrics and the music that help us to offer praise to God as well as challenges and inspires us in our efforts to follow Jesus. Songs of testimony, hymns of praise, and poetry set to music that captures the deep theological truths of Scripture are invaluable to the Christian Community.

The Summons* is a twentieth century song that has been running through my head for several days. One person called it “one of the most compelling, transformational, and missional songs that we sing!”

Rather than provide an opportunity to declare one’s faith or to offer praise to God, it poses some probing questions from God. Read it and ponder the questions. I hope that the final verse will be your honest prayer.

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean, and do such as this unseen, and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show. Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

Jamie Jenkins

* Words: John L. Bell & Graham Maule, copyright © 1987 Wild Goose Resource Group/ WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland. Melody: ‘Kelvingrove’, Scots traditional. Websites: wgrg.co.uk & holycity-glasgow.co.uk

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