We’ll walk with you

God called you, Jesus, into Jordan's deep
To hear the voice that named you 'Precious child',
The one to pioneer a Way of Love:
We’ll walk with you.

The Spirit led you into emptiness,
To feel the lure of what you might possess.
You turned away resolved to live for God:
We’ll walk with you.

You went into your town to tell the truth:
In you the greatest promise is fulfilled
That all will share the freedom of God's love.
We’ll walk with you.

You loved and longed and hurt and gave your all,
Our God alive within the web of life,
And all the earth to you was holy ground:
We’ll walk with you.

Your way extends as far as we can see
Into creation groaning to be free.
Still powers reign: how can we find the strength?
We’ll walk with you.

O, make our hearts burn in us on the road,
Your love propel us into every place,
And on towards the kingdom's morning glow:
We’ll walk with you.

Words: Andrew Herbert

Metre: 10.10.10.4

Suggested tune: Laying Down (StF 575)

Ideas for use

Andrew wrote this hymn as a reflection for Lent. In fact, the verses trace the life and ministry of Jesus from his baptism to the resurrection appearances. Andrew holds these episodes together with the thematic, refrain-like line: "We’ll walk with you." It can be read as both a confident statement of intent or a necessary reminder of how our lives and lifestyle should be shaped as Christians.  

Like other hymns that cover the whole gospel story (e.g. Marjorie Dobson’s Jesus the carpenter, StF 275, and The name of Jesus by Mary Rose Jensen, website only), this text will be valuable for congregations at different moments throughout the Church year.

The metre of this text (10.10.10.4) is an unusual one but John Bell’s tune, “Laying Down”, flows easily and is easy to teach and learn. The only alternatives in Singing the Faith (or Hymns and Psalms) are hymns that use 10.10.10 + alleluias, and the last line of each verse in this text sits awkwardly with those options. (Though some experimenting with Sine Nomine (StF 745) is interesting, and offers a very different style and quality to the hymn.)

More information

The verses of this hymn (with the exception of v.5) follow the gospel narratives, in particular as they are laid out in the Gospel of Luke. (Many of the episodes are also re-told in the other gospels.)

v.1 Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3: 21-22)
v.2 Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness (Luke 4: 1-13)
v.3 Jesus visits his home town of Nazareth (Luke 4: 14-30)
v.4 Jesus’ ministry as a whole, but including the events of Holy Week (Luke 22: 1 – 23: 48)
v.5 St Paul’s letter to the early Christians in Rome (Romans 8: 18-25)
v.6 Jesus appears to disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35)

Explore more hymns that speak of Jesus’ life and ministry in our three-part series on Jesus’ Ministry: