John L. Bell & Graham Maule
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?
Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
The Summons (hymn)
“The Summons“, also called “Will You Come and Follow Me“,is a Scottish Christian hymn. It was written byJohn L. Bellin 1987.
Bell composed “The Summons” after being accepted into theIona Communityin 1980.It was first included in the Iona Community’sHeaven Shall Not Wait: Songs of Creation, the Incarnation, and the Life of Jesus, published by their Wild Goose Resource Group in 1987. “The Summons” has been published in many hymn books beyond the Iona Community and the United Kingdom, including those by theUnited Church of Canadaand thePresbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Composition and usage
“The Summons” is set to the tune of Kelvingrove, a traditional Scottish melody. Its text contains thirteen questions asked by Jesus in thefirst person.The initial four stanzas with the questions are in Jesus’ voice, and the fifth stanza is the singer’s response to them. The hymn is based onMark 1:1620 and alludes to Jesus calling his disciples to follow him.C. Michael Hawn calls it a prophetic Christian hymn and mentioned that it contains words uncommon to other hymns.It has been used as an example of how a Christian should react to fear and loveas well as being written as an example of covenantal discipleship.The hymn is used as a vocational and youth hymn because the words are easier to learn for younger people compared with other hymns.In 2014, the hymn was used atBlackburn Cathedralat a service performed by theBishop of Blackburnto commemorate 20 years since the firstordination of women in the Church of Englandas well as theDiocese of Blackburn’s decision to support the ordination of women asbishopsin theChurch of England.