Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I long to take my stand;
the shadow of a mighty rock
within a weary land,
a home within a wilderness,
a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat
and burdens of the day.

Upon the cross of Jesus,
my eye at times can see
the very dying form of one
who suffered there for me.
And from my contrite heart, with tears,
two wonders I confess:
the wonder of his glorious love
and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, your shadow
for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by,
to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame,
my glory all, the cross.

Elizabeth Clephane of Melrose, Scotland, wrote this hymn shortly before she died. During her lifetime, Elizabeth knew hardship, suffering and loss. Her parents died when she was very young, she endured ill-health most of her life and she died at age 39. Nevertheless, her life was spent serving others. She once sold her horse and carriage to provide life essentials for another in need. Elizabeth embodied salvation in Jesus Christ as freedom to serve the neighbor.

As a result of her positive disposition, Clephane was known as the Sunshine of Melrose. In spite of, or perhaps because of, her cheerful outlook in the face of illness and ongoing physical and financial challenges, Elizabeth could write in the last stanza of the hymn: "I take O cross, your shadow for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of your face; content to let the work go by, to know no gain nor loss, my sinful self my only shame the glory all the cross."

Gracious God, thank you for turning your face toward us. Might our eyes be focused on you. Might our face reflect the sunshine of your love and grace.
Hub

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