Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jesus Let Us Come to Know You -- Michael Card

When he wrote out the words, he did more than sing them. That’s what Michael Card would say about himself, and that’s undoubtedly what he would say to those he contacts and draws into conversation via his 1982 song “Jesus, Let Us Come to Know You”. He was early in his journey in 1982, perhaps near Bowling Green, Kentucky (see map here) where he’d gone to college, and it was not just through music that this artist sought to accomplish the goal of this song’s title. And, his journey hasn’t been one of solitude, for Card is a big believer in community, and that realizing the goal of knowing God is a learning process best met among a group of people. So, notice the words—one word, in particular--that he uses in his ode, and it comes as no surprise, once you’ve met and understood this fellow.

Michael Card was a 25-year old musician-second, and God seeker-first in 1982 when he wrote that he wanted to know God better. He probably has two people to thank primarily for his musical career – one professor/mentor (William Lane) who coaxed him to write his first songs, and a friend (Randy Scruggs) who pushed him into recording some of them. Lane persuaded Michael to write songs to accompany the weekly sermon at the church, so perhaps “Jesus, Let Us…” was one of those efforts, devised for one of Lane’s Sunday morning messages. Randy and another friend (John Thompson) then recorded Michael and some of his songs, hoping the effort would prove to record companies that their newly-minted production company was credible. Indeed it did, and their plan also unwittingly helped launch Michael on a musical ride that has continued for over 30 years. “Jesus Let Us…” underscored two things that seem to be key facets in his musical calling: First, music was not Michael’s primary focus, and second, his achievements have been in the midst of many others who’ve spurred what has emerged from Michael’s pen. These attributes come straight from Card’s official website, but they also are evident in the two verses of the 1982 song he crafted. The song’s theme – knowing the God-Son – and living among a community – evident in the composer’s recurring use of ‘us’in the two verses – tip-off the observer that these two crucial elements were at work inside Michael Card. What Michael had experienced with his mentor and his friends – a reciprocal, give-and-take relationship  – was also what he thought about God and himself, and that comes though too, in his poetry.

Michael Card is probably as well, or perhaps even more well-known for his abilities outside of his music. Author, teacher, and radio host are the other ventures that he pursues, all with the goal of living among others and encouraging them to join the journey he’s on himself. ‘Us’ is a the tiny word he employs 11 times, underscoring how he’s been conducting his exploration of God’s connection to his universe. While it’s a life-long education at which Card has excelled, he would readily admit it’s been most fruitful because of the many people with whom he’s interacted. Seeking God isn’t a solitary enterprise. Michael would probably say ‘go find a group to feed upon and feed them in return’. While you’re doing that, see if you notice Him doing the same with you.  

Biography on the composer here:
Another biographic article, this one on composer’s official website:

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