Shine, Jesus, Shine

Album: Make Way for Jesus: Shine Jesus Shine (1987)

Songfacts®:

  • This Christian praise song was written in 1987 by Graham Kendrick. He recalled the story of the tune: "At the time most people were writing short songs or choruses and this is quite substantial like a hymn so I didn't think it would be picked up as quick. It was one of a number of songs which I had written and was originally written without a chorus with the verses similar to the version we use now. I used it in church and it seemed well received."

    "It was then left for a while and I returned to it a few months later with the feeling it needed a chorus. The chorus was a very quick process. The song was used and there seemed something special about it, but over the years it has developed its own identity."
  • "Shine" has proved enduringly popular among evangelical Christian congregations, staying at the top end of the Church Copyright License charts both in the UK and USA for a decade. In 2005 it was voted tenth in a survey conducted by the BBC's Songs Of Praise TV program of the UK's favorite hymns.
  • The song has also been vilified by a wide range of critics. For instance, the editor in chief at the Catholic Herald, Damian Thompson, called it "the most loathed of all happy-clappy hymns."

    Commenting on some of the criticism "Shine" has received, Kendrick wrote in Alpha magazine, "The term 'happy-clappy' came up a few times as a derogatory dismissal of enthusiastic praise. Dismissive terms have the effect of drawing a line on the floor and expecting us to jump either side of it. Well I for one am not going to jump."

    "If the happy-clappy label is being awarded then I hope I qualify! I will not apologize for following in the tradition of the apostle James (4:13), singing songs of praise if I am happy (and presumably clapping if I feel clappy). Mind you, please give me a label also for praying when I am in trouble, in the exact same tradition, of course, and for the times when I must weep with those who weep."

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