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April 22, 2020

The Jesus Song: A reflection


The Jesus Song: A reflection
 

There are certain songs that just resonate with the souls of young people and bring a sense of calm in the midst of a storm. One of those that is repeatedly asked for and used in our community is Tom Booth’s “The Jesus Song.” One might think that to reach today’s youth, a catchy hook is the way to go or ‘more is better.’ However, in our experience at both the high school and grade school level, the simplicity of “The Jesus Song” is what they ask for and respond to best. It leads them deeper by repeating two simple prayers. When a young person sings from their heart, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me,” and “Jesus I trust in you,” repeatedly, you can see them let go and dive into prayer in that moment. Especially in today’s world, as we deal with the spread of COVID-19 and fear of what might happen next, here is a song that emphasizes five powerful words that can bring peace. Singing, “Jesus I trust in you,” allows you to let go of fear and place your life in God’s hands. I have especially seen the transformation happen with young people when this song is sung during Adoration. And to hear teenagers sing those words on their own as they walk through the school halls is evidence to me that the depth of this song penetrates the heart.

It is also worth mentioning that people catch on to the song quickly, able to sing it within a few seconds. It’s like it was written with the intention of someone being able to pick it up as they enter into prayer without concern of what to sing next. It connects you to the Lord and to others you sing it with. I encourage you to use it as your prayer today and experience it for yourself.

 
Phil Baniewicz
Phil Baniewicz
 

Phil Baniewicz is the President at Maur Hill-Mount Academy, an internationally known Catholic boarding school. He is the co-founder of Life Teen, an international Catholic youth ministry he led for twenty-one years. Before taking over the reins at MH-MA, he spent four years as the Vice President of College Relations at Benedictine College. He also is the head baseball coach at MH-MA.

Phil has spoken to thousands internationally on a variety of teen topics. He has produced, written and hosted several television and video projects over two decades. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in nonprofit business administration from the University of Notre Dame. He and his lovely wife, Lisa, have worked together in ministry for years. They have five children.