Monday, November 19, 2007

Firm Foundation

Yesterday in church we sang one of my favorite hymns. Here it is with some language edits by me:

How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in God's excellent Word!
What more can God say than to you has been said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?


In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.


Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.


When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.


When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.


Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.


The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.


This song is full of great lines, but my favorite is at the end of the first verse. "What more can God say than to you has been said/ You, who unto Jesus for refuge has fled?"

Many is the time I've looked at a text on which I was supposed to write or preach some new insights and I wanted to simply point to this hymn. It IS the old, old story. How can I possibly elaborate on that which God made pretty clear through God's initial prophets?

Yet, there's more to this song, faith and God's word than looking at the page and seeing the shapes of letters. The Word itself calls us to be with other people, faith in community, so we can remind each other of how God once moved, does move and will move in the world. When we hear the Word with and from each other, it strengthens that foundation- of which Christ is the cornerstone.

So in this week of Thanksgiving, look for how God is upholding you (maybe after too much turkey, maybe through family drama) and how God has been building a foundation for you and through you- out of love for God's creation!

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