- Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There 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 raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
- Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
- Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
- Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
Fanny Crosby’s hymn seems particularly apt today. I feel the shadows of death all around; murders in Kenya, natural disasters in Kentucky, and what seems like growing intolerance everywhere. The temptation of course, is to try to turn our eyes away from the Cross; to avoid the news, to try to focus on bunnies and pastel colors and getting the house clean for Easter. But the key to finding our way out of the misery of this world is not around but through. We need to stay near the Cross today. We need to cling to it, to believe that Jesus died on it, and that Love overcame even the torture of crucifixion. When we align ourselves with the One who came through Death to Life, we can find courage to confront the evils of our day “with it’s shadows o’er me”. When we stay near the Cross and wait and watch with the women, and our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will find ways to reach “the golden strand just beyond the river”. May God bless you with courage to stay near the Cross today.