Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love

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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

This fine text is based on Jesus' personalized object lesson on servanthood when he washed his disciples' feet (John 13:1-17) and on Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan. That parable was his response to the question “Who is my Neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-37).


Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Any song or testimony about the cries that comes from our nations and cities must be met with confessional statements about the mission of the church as listed here.


Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 41-43 are explicit and pointed about the mission of the church: “In a world estranged from God, where happiness and peace are offered in many names and millions face confusing choices, we witness—with respect for followers of other ways—to the only one in whose name salvation is found: Jesus Christ.”


Later, Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 52-54 point to the task of the church in seeking public justice and functioning as a peacemaker: “We call on our governments to work for peace and to restore just relationships. We deplore the spread of weapons in our world and on our streets with the risks they bring and the horrors they threaten…”


The Belhar Confession, section 3 calls the church to be a peacemaker, and section 4 calls the church “to bring about justice and true peace.”


Our Song of Hope, stanza 10 calls the church to seek “the welfare of the people” and to work “against inhuman oppression of humanity.”


Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love

Tune Information

E♭ Major
7.7.9 refrain 9.12

Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love

Hymn Story/Background

Tom Colvin, long-term missionary to Africa, wrote this text in 1963 in Chereponi, northern Ghana, while he was attending a lay-training course in agriculture, development, and evangelism. New converts had brought a folk melody to this meeting, which they thought might be appropriate for a text about Christian love. Colvin explained his writing of the text as follows:
Sitting there in the moonlight, I felt it simply had to be about black and white, rich and poor. I was ashamed of the wasteful affluence of my people but proud of the Gospel that transforms us into servants of one another. It is only when we who are rich learn to have the humility of the slave towards the poor of the world that we shall be able to learn from them; they have so much to teach us and share with us.
Colvin shared text and tune with the Iona Community in Scotland. After the hymn was published in their collection Free to Serve: Hymns from Africa (1968), its popularity spread to other Christian communities. It was also published in many other hymn books.
This fine text is based on Jesus' personalized object lesson on servanthood when he washed his disciples' feet (John 13:1-17) and on Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan. That parable was his response to the question “Who is my Neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-37).
CHEREPONI was originally a traditional Ghanaian love song. Colvin named the tune after the village in which he first heard it and in which he wrote his text. The traditional African performance for melodies like CHEREPONI involves a leader and a group as well as various percussion instruments and clapping. Such a practice can easily be imple­mented in congregations that have one or several soloists or a choir. If you have drummers in your church, have them use the rhythms provided in Lift Up Your Hearts or improvise some ostinato rhythms on drums and/or tambourines. Because this is a perpetual energy kind of song, make sure that there are no rhythmic pauses between the refrain and the stanzas. Diane Dkygraaf arranged this hymn for Lift Up Your Hearts.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Diane Dykgraaf was born into a hymn-singing family, and by age 10 was accompanying her school choir. She studied music and organ at Calvin College.  Along with raising 5 children and teaching piano and organ, she led the music ministry in her church in Kentwood, MI. She has a love for traditional hymns, gospel music, and contemporary Christian music—anything that helps us worship. She assisted editor, Joyce Borger, and the editorial team for Lift Up Your Hearts, and did much of the copyright work for the hymnal. Her passions are music, serving the church, and engaging with the next generation in song, scripture, and prayer.
— Diane Dykgraaf

Author and Composer Information

Thomas S. Colvin (b. Glasgow, Scotland, April 16, 1925; d. Edinburgh, Scotland, February 24, 2000) was trained as an engineer and worked in that profession in Burma and Singa­pore from 1945 to 1948. After studying theology at Trinity College, Glasgow University, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1954. He served as missionary in Nyasa­land (now Malawi) from 1954 to 1958, in Ghana from 1958 to 1964, and again in Nyasa­land from 1964 to 1974. His work there included preaching, education, and community development. After completing his missionary work, Colvin became a minister in the United Reformed Church of England and served an inner-city church in London. He returned to Africa in 1984 as a development consultant to the Zimbabwe Christian Council. He is now retired in Edinburgh. Colvin's writings include Christ's Work in Free Africa (1964) and three collections of hymns, many written in collaboration with African Christians–Free to Serve (1966), Leap My Soul (1976), and Fill Us with Your Love (1983).
— Bert Polman
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