“Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” (ELW 335)
1 Jesus, keep me near the cross,
there’s a precious fountain;
free to all, a healing stream
flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross
be my glory ever;
till my ransomed soul shall find
rest beyond the river.
2 Near the cross, a trembling soul,
love and mercy found me;
there the bright and morning star
sheds its beams around me. Refrain
3 Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
bring its scenes before me;
help me walk from day to day
with its shadow o’er me. Refrain
4 Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
hoping, trusting ever,
till I reach the golden strand
just beyond the river. Refrain
“Love and mercy found me.” In our daily lives, we often live in silence and fear, moving from hope to hopelessness. We often fear our neighbors, assuming the worst of them while God demands just the opposite of us. Imagine if, instead of trembling in fear, we trembled at the excitement of living in peace, justice, and harmony—welcoming the stranger and loving our neighbors! What if we remembered that once we were strangers, and that despite our many flaws, God showered love and mercy upon us? What if we remembered that God sheds light so that we may see the image of God in each of God’s children?
God invites us to open our hearts to receive these words as a reminder and to act in courage, showing others the love and mercy God continuously shows us.
God of mercy, our bright and morning star: We often tremble in fear. Help us instead to tremble with excitement, walking in your love, mercy, and light as you guide us to live with peace, justice, and compassion. Amen.