In the shadow of your cross
You first were laid in a manger
Cradled gently by wooden beams early
Their shadow playing in stable firelight. / Refrain
You heard your mother sing sweetly
Her soul daily the Lord magnifying
’Til her song came to life in your living. / Refrain
You gathered all who would listen
Claiming mercy as God’s holy yearning
And for this risking your name and your life. / Refrain
You last were nailed to the timber
Hoisted roughly on wooden beams deadly
Such anger aimed at your love for the least. / Refrain
We who have followed your footsteps
Making mercy the fruit of our living
When darkness threatens, Lord, steady our souls. / Refrain
Sweet Lord, in the shadow of your cross
We are standing right here at your side
In the least of many sisters and brothers
We find you as we stand by their side.
Text: David R. Weiss, b. 1959 (text, 2006, © 2008 David R. Weiss)
Tune: Cesáreo Gabaraín, 1936-1991, Pescador de hombres (You have come down to the lakeshore, With One Voice 784 – © 1979 Ediciones Paulinas, admin OCP Publications)
Permission is given to photocopy In the Shadow of your Cross for use in worship.
Author’s Note: This hymn text, ideal for Lent, reflects on what it means to say that we “stand in the shadow of the cross.” Borrowing the tune from a beautiful Latin American hymn, Pescador de hombres (“You have come down to the lakeshore), I recount Jesus’ life from Mary’s Magnificat to Jesus’ ministry, concluding with the cross, as the story of one who lived and died for standing “with the least” — which is where we find him today.