Let us remember the depth, beauty, and simplicity of the atonement of Jesus Christ with “Gethsemane, Jesus Loves Me”. A stirring song of Jesus’ love for all of us—His brothers and sisters. The song is a great resource for helping God’s children of all ages internalize the Savior’s immeasurable gift of grace and redemption. When I heard this song, something deep inside me said I am changed forever. It reminded me that by Jesus and with Jesus I have already won all my fights in life!
“Gethsemane” was penned by Roger and Melanie Hoffman, a couple who devoted their time, talent and energy to creating music together for the past 37 years. For them, much of the music they write often comes to them as a great surprise. As Roger Hoffman put it, sometimes their only role in the songwriting process is showing up because the songs come to them by grace. Melanie recalled how naturally the lyrics to “Gethsemane” flowed from pen to paper. Its purpose is to express the life of Jesus Christ. They wanted it to be for primary-aged kids.
Because writing about such a holy subject for a young audience was a tough task, the couple originally agreed to just reorganize a sacrament hymn. But later on, the words, “Gethsemane, Jesus loves me, so He went willingly, to Gethsemane” suddenly and strongly came to Melanie’s mind, and it was not long after that point that she finished texting the entire song. Remembering how effortlessly “Gethsemane” came to his wife, Roger Hoffman, added that the song was a gift; it was given.
The line, “so He gave it willingly” hit me pretty hard. Jesus Christ readily gave His life for all our weaknesses, flaws, sins, sorrows and pains. There are three important questions we want to ask ourselves. What has Jesus Christ done for me? In return, what have I done for Him? What am I doing for Jesus Christ?
We knew and loved each other before this life. We will always need one another. Jesus Christ was the first to show that love. He loved us enough to do the Father’s will. Jesus Christ freed us from death and sin. His atonement healed us and will continue to heal us. We are so lucky and blessed to have this gift and testimony that we can share as we live this life. Until then, we will each take our own cross and do as He wills.
Our hope is that we capture the depth of Jesus’ love through this song. Listen to our little Claire Ryann sing “Gethsemane”, and be moved and renewed.