Shukuru, Yesu (Thanking You, Jesus)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Sometimes the soul of the Christian needs to cry out exuberantly with joy, thanks, and adoration, even without identifying the reasons for such praise and adoration. Moreover, Christians who gather corporately find it fitting to do so as the grateful body of Christ. The Confessions of the church recognize this natural expression. Belgic Confession, Article 1 sees God as the “overflowing source of all good,” and such a realization deserves an “Alleluia!” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 is a reminder that living in the joy of our comfort involves a spirit of thanks for his deliverance. In the same spirit, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 2 exclaims, “God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: his rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!” and then as a natural response cries: “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”


Shukuru, Yesu (Thanking You, Jesus)

Tune Information

D Major


Musical Suggestion

The six languages shown here are only a starting point for this jubilant call-and-response song. “Thank yous” can be added in other languages, or new stanzas can be improvised by the leader: “For this bread/cup, Thanking you, Jesus,” for example. Take time to teach the rhythms and harmonies accurately in the beginning; they will soon become second nature.
— Global Songs for Worship

Shukuru, Yesu (Thanking You, Jesus)

Hymn Story/Background

Each year, Church of the Servant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I serve as minister of worship, holds a “Splish Splash Barbecue Bash” outreach in a neighborhood near the church. Because there are so many nations represented in this part of the city, we wanted fo find music that we could sing in a number of different languages. One of our church members, Sudanese pastor Stanley Richard, taught me “Shukuro” as we prepared for theat event.
The orginal text of “Shukuro” is in Juba Arabic, which is spoken widely in South Sudan. The lyrics mean, simply, “Thank you, Jesus,” or “We’re thanking you, Jesus.” Since the text is so simple, it’s quite easy to translate into any number of langauges. When a training team from Global Praise arrived in Uganda, we quickly learned how to say “Thank you” in Luganda (“Webale”), and integrated this word into the song. The Ugandans were delighted and amused to be led by an American in a worship song in their own language.
From For Everyone Born: Global Songs for an Emerging Church (2008)
— Greg Scheer

Author Information

Anne Zaki grew up in Cairo, Egypt, in a pastor's home. Since her teen years, she has been involved in teaching and leading ministries. At age 16 she was selected by the Egyptian Government to represent Egypt in an international school in Western Canada dedicated to peace and international understanding worldwide. Two years later Anne came to Calvin College seeking a liberal arts Christian education to help her integrate her Christian faith and her social justice convictions.
Her areas of interests include travel and learning about the different cultural influences on the church worldwide, creating new ministries, mentoring youth, and administration. Her husband is Naji Umran.  They are the parents of four sons, Jonathan, Sebastian, Emmanuel, and Alexander.
Anne received her Bachelors degree from Calvin College in Psychology and Sociology in 1999, and her Master’s degree from The American University in Cairo in the field of Social Psychology in 2002, and her Master's of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary in 2009.
— CICW Website Bio (http://www.calvin.edu/worship)

Composer Information

Greg Scheer (b. 1966) has composed hundreds of pieces, songs and arrangements. His music is published by Augsburg Fortress, GIA, Abingdon Press, Worship Today, Faith Alive and in numerous hymnals. He has won commissions from the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Iowa Composers Forum, Linn-Mar High School String Orchestra, Chagall String Quartet and Northwestern College. His electronic piece, "Crossfade," was included on the CD ...from everlasting to everlasting... His string quartet "6" was featured on WQED in Pittsburgh and was also a winning composition in the 2000 Southeastern Composers' Symposium. His hymn "People of the Lord" won the Calvin09 hymn contest and was subsequently sung and published internationally.
— Greg Scheer

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