March/April - Room at the Cross for You
The past month has been so busy for me with studies and such, so I am combining the March and April hymn-of-the-month articles into this one article. Therefore, I had to pick a hymn that would be worth the two months, and I believe that my choice hymn is easily deserving. A perfect invitational provoking thought and declaring wonderful hope, this hymn is a great choice for a service's final hymn or for special music. The words are below.
(1) The cross upon which Jesus died
Is a shelter in which we can hide;
And its grace so free is sufficient for me,
and deep is its fountain—as wide as the sea.
(2) Though millions have found Him a friend
And have turned from the sins they have sinned,
The Savior still waits to open the gates
And welcome a sinner before it's too late.
(3) The hand of my Savior is strong,
And the love of my Savior is long;
Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,
The blood flows from Calv'ry to cleans ev'ry stain.
There's room at the cross for you,
There's room at the cross for you;
Though millions have come,
There's still room for one—
Yes, there's room at the cross for you.
About the Author
Ira Stanphill was born in Bellview, New Mexico in 1914. In the course of his life he pastored as well as traveled as an evangelist across the United States and even internationally. Of course, he also wrote many hymns—more than 500! Though he faced the tragedy of the loss of his wife, he faithfully served the Savior until his death in 1993. As it goes with many of the hymn writers, I must admit I cannot agree with Ira's standpoint on various doctrines, but I can greatly appreciate the truth he taught in the hymns he wrote. One great habit Ira had was asking others for ideas on which to write hymns, which then he would compose. Even as a young and inexperienced sacred music composer, I can identify with so many others who find themselves in a rut, writing music on topics covered by countless others. I have found that some of my best music has been the result of others' suggestions. If any of those reading this article are songwriters or aspire to be, I can not tell you how invaluable the input of others is on your music. Humility is a tremendous asset!
A Few Thoughts...
It seems that I have already shared a few thoughts! But there is so much in these lyrics that I must point out at least something. Often we see the cross as a place where lost souls can find peace with God, but the cross should carry far deeper a meaning to those of us who already know the Savior. For us, the cross is that place where we can leave all of our daily sin, our pride, our fears...every thing that stands between us and our Heavenly Father. It is a "shelter in which we can hide." It is a place of relief. Yet, all too often we carry our heavy load with us, shouldering a weight we as Christians are not created to carry! Christ has paid for that load, and offers us forgiveness once again. Dear friend, if you are carrying a burden, "there's room at the cross for you!"