I grew up in a church that sang hymns on a weekly basis. We would take the hymnal in front of us, turn to the page number the music director told us, and sing a few verses of the congregational hymn.

Over the last few years, I’ve gone back to singing, listening, and reading old and new hymns. They are rich in theology and are Christocentric, easy to remember and learn, and can quiet the heart in the midst of turmoil. Don’t take this as a slight on current worship music. There are several current worship songs that have the same qualities I just mentioned. What I’m looking for as a pastor is music that focuses on Christ and comes from Scripture that disciples the members of my church. The traditional hymnal is a goldmine for such music.

Today, I’m introducing a new feature on the blog, The Hymn of the Week. This week’s hymn is “My Jesus I Love Thee” by William R. Featherstone and composed by Adoniram Judson Gordon. Featherstone was a young boy when he wrote this poem. Years after his death, Gordon put the melody together and helped publish it on a broad scale. Featherstone never knew the generational impact his poem turned hymn would have on congregations across the world.

“My Jesus I Love Thee” is a beautiful melody of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our love for Him is founded on his love for us. As the song moves, we see the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on the cross, in the present, and in the future. When we see the gracious work of Jesus Christ, our response is to cry out, “My Jesus I Love Thee”! Here are the lyrics and below you’ll find a video that you can sing to this week.

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.