Tell me the Stories of Jesus

Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here;
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

Recent conversations… helpful and constructive about prayer and forgiveness… robust and antagonistic about God’s judgement and violence… remind me how central Jesus is to my faith..

I remembered this old Sunday School hymn… the stories of Jesus…

Jesus of story-telling – stories of lost sheep and lost sons, of seeds and fields, criticising the religious, promoting God’s Kingdom.

First let me hear how the children stood round His knee,
And I shall fancy His blessing resting on me;
Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
All in the love light of Jesus’ face.

Jesus of the people – the friend of tax-collectors and prostitutes, touching lepers, blessing children, encouraging the rejected and desperate, calling ordinary people to follow him.

Tell me, in accents of wonder, how rolled the sea,
Tossing the boat in a tempest on Galilee;
And how the Maker, ready and kind,
Chided the billows, and hushed the wind.

Jesus of miracles – stilling the storm, walking on water, healing the deaf and blind, feeding the crowds, raising the dead, impossibly changing lives.

Into the city I’d follow the children’s band,
Waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand;
One of His heralds, yes, I would sing
Loudest hosannas, “Jesus is King!”

Jesus of Holy Week – the joy of Palm Sunday… the grief of Maundy Thursday… the suffering of Good Friday… the hopelessness of Low Saturday… the triumph of Easter Sunday!

Show me that scene in the garden, of bitter pain;
Show me the cross where my Saviour for me was slain;
Sad ones or bright ones, so that they be
Stories of Jesus—tell them to me.

Tell me the stories of Jesus – that I may ‘see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly…’

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