Friday, November 23, 2012

Beneath the Cross of Jesus


SONG WRITER: Elizabeth Clephane                    

MUSIC WRITER: Frederick Maker                    

WHEN WRITTEN: 1868

HYMN HISTORY: Elizabeth Clephane was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1830 and lived most of her life in the village of Melrose.  Her father was the county sheriff.  She was a woman acquainted with grief, but never let that stop her.  Her parents both died while she was young, and she was never very healthy herself.  Nevertheless, she was one of those cheerful people who brighten every corner –– perhaps because she focused on what she could do for others rather than sitting and feeling sorry for herself.  Her friends called her "Sunbeam" –– a nickname that may have inspired the lines in this hymn that say:

"I ask no other sunshine than
The sunshine of His face."

Elizabeth loved poetry and wrote several hymns.  The other one with which you might be familiar is "The Ninety and Nine," a hymn inspired by Jesus' parable about a shepherd who had a hundred sheep, but left the ninety-nine to search for the one that was lost –– a parable about God's love (Matthew 18:12-14).
  
BIBLE VERSE:  John 19:25“But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”

HYMN LYRICS:

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

Upon that cross of Jesus
mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One
who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears
two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love
and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy 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. 

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