And Bears My Soul Away

Today while leading worship I was caught by surprise when an old hymn touched my heart. It’s far from my favorite hymn. I’ve always considered it a dreadful melody. We only sang two verses but I didn’t think I was going to get through them as tears welled up in my eyes.

Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No there’s a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me.

O precious cross! O glorious crown! O resurrection day! When Christ the Lord from Heav’n comes down and bears my soul away.

Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone? is a patchwork of a song. The first verse was written by Thomas Shepherd and published in a hymnal called Penitential Cries, published in 1693. The second stanza was added by a missionary collection, the third in yet another hymnal. The fourth and fifth verses (verses one and five above) were composed and published by Henry Ward Beecher.

But of course none of that was going through my mind when we were singing this morning. I think there are just times when a plaintive reflection on the mercy and salvation from God touches us in a needed way. Far too often we forget why we are allowed to wear His name and approach God’s throne with confidence. Only because of Jesus.

One day we will not wonder at all why God would allow someone like us into heaven. Jesus brought us here … and that’s the only reason. Nothing more is needed.

Thanks for reading,