Today was my ladies’ English class. We had nine there, most of whom also attended the crockpot party yesterday.
After the English lesson, my Japanese partner led the chapel time. She passed out the words in English of “Jesus Loves Me” and we taught the song, with hand motions, to the class. She explained the meaning of the words in Japanese, and shared a story that Eric’s mom had shared when she visited here last year. Before other family members were believers, Eric’s grandmother used to take him when he was still in diapers to church. He would sit with the older kids during Sunday School. One day the teacher asked, “How do we know that Jesus loves us?” The other children sat in silence, but Eric raised his hand and said, “For the Bible tells me so.”
Here’s the class singing a third verse:
I played for them the video clip of Olivia “singing” this in her crib one day. (See Tone Deaf). Then the class put up with me singing them this song in Shona language, which I had learned as wee one when living in Zimbabwe. It’s amazing what sinks into children’s hearts – that was 40 years ago!
It was so so simple, this chapel time. But somehow these nine women who I have come to love over the past few years– hearing them sing these truths touched my heart so deeply. Several of them already know that Jesus loves them (though none of us there really know how much). But five of them – they are still trying to figure all of this out. How much would change if they really, really believed the truths of this song.
“This is who you are, your identity, loved by God. But being loved is not all there is to it. Being loved creates a person who can love, who must love. Getting love is a launch into giving love….Every sentence [of John] comes out more or less the same: God loves you; Christ shows you how love works; now you love. Love, love, love, love. Just do it.” (Eugene Peterson)
Once a young student asked Barth if he could sum up what was most important about his life’s work and theology in just a few words. The question was posed even with gasps from the audience. Barth just thought for a moment and then smiled, “Yes, in the words of a song my mother used to sing me, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’
Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong, They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.