On Christmas Day 1970, I boarded a passenger train at the station in Pasadena, California, along with many other college students and traveled by rail all the way to Illinois to attend InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana 70. The students filled at least two cars! Urbana is InterVarsity’s Student Missions Conference that takes place every three years. It is a five-day catalytic event bringing together a diverse mix of college and graduate students, faculty, recent graduates, pastors, church and ministry leaders, missions organizations, and schools.
In addition to exceptional teaching throughout the conference, I was exposed to songs—some that I’d never heard before. May the Mind of Christ My Saviour is one of those that has since become a favorite.
Katie Barclay Wilkinson
Born ~ August 27, 1859 – Woodlands Bank, Timperley, Cheshire, England
Died ~ December 28, 1928 – South Kensington, London, England
Katie was the daughter of mechanical engineer William Beckett Johnson. In 1891 at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Altrincham, Cheshire, Katie married Frederick Barclay Wilkinson, a clerk. She is said to have worked with girls and young women in London and was apparently involved with the Keswick Convention movement.* Little is known for certain about her, except that she died at home in South Kensington. She is remembered for this one hymn, May the Mind of Christ My Saviour.
May the Mind of Christ, My Saviour was written in the early twentieth century. It is based on the words of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament book of Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” A description follows of the way the Lord Jesus surrendered His rights and took the place of humble service, even unto death (vs. 6–8). It is a theme the Bible addresses a number of times, perhaps because the tendency of our sinful nature is to do just the opposite—to cling to what we see as our rights and expect others to serve us!