Psalm 30:11–12; Psalm 40:1–3 (NRSV)
“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
Life is Saturday. Not the Saturday of a summer picnic or of a fall college football game. Life is the Saturday between Good Friday (death) and Easter Sunday (resurrection)—the Saturday of “waiting for the Lord,” as Psalm 40 has it. We live in between Friday and Sunday. We know that death’s power has been undone in Christ’s death—that its sting of death is gone and death has no victory. But we await the final victory when death itself will be no more.
As I write this devotion, I have just received an email with the obituary for one of my first cousins. His death came too soon. He was a dancer. I’ll never see him dance again—not in this life. But I look forward to a Sunday when, as Psalm 30 has it, mourning will be turned to dancing again, and the clothing of mourning will be turned into joy.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait, hoping, trusting ever, till I reach the golden strand just beyond the river. Amen.