God’s people have always had a song. Christians are known for singing and have always sung.
What did the Israelites do when they crossed the Red Sea? They worshipped God through song. Think of the picture in Revelation, multitudes around the throne of Jesus singing, ‘Worthy is the Lamb!’ King David, a worshipper and musician, pours out his heart to God through song in the Psalms.
God’s people have always had a song, a song of redemption, salvation and hope. God hears and enjoys the words we use. By his Holy Spirit he helps us to worship him, causing our spirit to cry out ‘Abba Father!’ When we sing to God, the truths written in the songs stay in our minds because of the melody. I love singing hymns. The depth of theology and beauty of the imagery in songs like ‘Come Thou Fount’ are stunning. I love singing songs about the gospel; the story of what Jesus has done for his people like ‘Saviour of the world’. I also love singing response songs to God, committing my heart to him afresh like ‘Lord you have my heart’.
What we sing when we are gathered together is important, it can inform our theology and understanding of God. What we sing can also raise our faith and trust in God. However, there’s one area of our Christian faith that doesn’t get sung about very often. It’s such an important part of our faith that Jesus decided to speak about it as his very last words to the disciples. Any guesses? It’s mission!
When I was working as a staff worker for UCCF: The Christian Unions, I led worship at their student leadership conference, Forum. I’d be able to find the celebration songs of praise and the songs of intimacy but it was so difficult to find good response songs about mission. I wonder if you’ve encountered the same problem before?
For this reason I tried to write a song that leads us to mission, not out of a sense of guilt or striving, but out of a place of acceptance and love. It’s called ‘Jesus’ Name’.
In John 20 verse 21, Jesus says to his disciples ‘As the Father sent me so I am sending you’. The Father has loved the Son with an eternal and perfect love. The Father sent the Son into the world out of a place of love and acceptance. The incredible thing in this passage is that just as the Father sent the Son from a place of love and acceptance, so the Son sends us into the world from that same place; we are loved and accepted by him.
We have good news to share; we don’t operate on a heavenly commission for the amount of converts we make. Jesus has already done everything possible for us (and others) to come to know him. Not only this but the Holy Spirit is with us and works through us as we evangelise! The Trinity at work in our mission. That’s what this song is all about.
In the bridge the lyrics paint a picture of our position in Christ, telling others about him ‘Just as the Father sent the Son into the world that he begun, so God sends us to do the same, to speak and live for Jesus’ Name’.
In the chorus there is a sending, a commissioning for God’s people to sing together ‘We will tell the world that ‘Jesus loves’, for he came to earth to rescue us. ‘Only Jesus saves’ we will proclaim. Come find love, come find peace, come find joy in Jesus’ name’. There is an invitation for us to hold out to those who don’t know Christ yet to come and find love and new life in him.
I believe that we should be singing more about mission. So often during the week we will be singing the words we sung on Sunday in our heads (or sometimes out loud!) but unfortunately we often don’t remember nearly as much of the sermon. For this reason, the words we sing in our times together as a Church are so important. In our Churches let’s continue to sing of the greatness of our Saviour and our heart’s response to what he’s done, but also lets sing songs that send us out to make disciples of Jesus.