Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love

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Source: Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #299

Author: Tom Colvin

Thomas Stevenson Colvin (Tom), Church of Scotland missionary in Malawi and Ghana, was born in Glasgow on 16 April 1925. He attended the Royal Technical College, Glasgow (now Strathclyde University) where he was chairman of the Student Christian Movement and from where he graduated B.Sc. in 1945. After a period with the Royal Engineers in Burma and Singapore, Colvin returned to Scotland in 1948 to become student assistant minister at Fallin Parish Church in Stirling. Later in the same year he began a three year course in divinity at Trinity College, Glasgow, was again an active member of student bodies, and held the post of president of the SCM. He spent a year after leaving Glasgow as the Travelling Secretary of the SCM, then between 1952 a… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Kneels at the feet of his friends
Title: Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love
Author: Tom Colvin (1963)
Meter: 7.7.9 with refrain
Source: Ghana folk solg
Place of Origin: Africa
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love
Copyright: © 1969, Hope Publishing Co.; © 1969 by Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Article: Hymn Performance: "I-to Loh Isn't There" by Eileen M. Johnson (from The Hymn)


Scripture References:
st. 1 = John 13:2-5

Tom Colvin (PHH 352), 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).

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions of worship in which Christian servanthood is the theme, thus missions services and services that focus on diaconal work.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



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 cl…

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Include 4 pre-1979 instances