Hump Day Hymns: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His Blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found,
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
-Edward Mote (1797-1874)

Several years ago, I was very upset over the outcome of an election. I was ready to move somewhere else, I was prognosticating on the downfall of the world and all of that. A wise friend reminded me, that God remains God. No president can change that, and no president has unilateral control over everything. I could be disappointed, I could even be a bit upset. However, we only have one foot in the already, we also have a foot in the not yet.

I have had a new experience this election cycle that I have not had before: I am the pastor of a church. I also have parishioners who occupy all points on the political graph. I have heard some variant of “the world is going to end if we elect/re-elect ;. I am someone who doesn’t have the spiritual gift of “shutting up” as I like to refer to it. I speak my mind, and sometimes I suffer the consequences from that.

But this year is different. I cannot solely think about myself. I have to think about my congregation. I have to remember that whatever I do and whatever I say may have ramifications in the community in which I have been placed and which I serve. After all, what holds us together is not an elephant or a donkey, or even a national flag. What holds us together is the empty cross of Christ.

I have not taken vocal partisan stances this season, and I have done so in part to avoid alienating any particular group in my congregation over this, because the body of Christ is far broader than a partisan candidate. I do, however, take value stances, proclaiming God’s desires for us, and I hope that my parishioners will internalize those and use those for guidance at the polls. To be sure, neither party can claim to have “God on their side” and doing so is only leaping into heresy.

So the Sunday before the election I reminded my congregation that they should vote, we are called to be good and involved citizens. However, regardless of the outcome we will gather back in our sanctuary at the same time the next Sunday morning. We will stand shoulder to shoulder and we will sing, and pray, and hear the Word of God, and we will fellowship with one another. The president is an important position, don’t misunderstand me, but we are electing a fallible and temporal leader, not God.

I will have some people that will be arguing that salvation has come and that we will be all okay because Obama was re-elected to the presidency. I will have some people that will believe that the world will end and that we are wicked people for re-electing Obama to the presidency. I won’t hear any of it. God remains God, God is still in control, God will continue to provide for us, and God’s purposes will be accomplished regardless of what temporal leader is elected. The president may have temporal influence, and we cannot minimize or ignore this. However, we also know that the kingdom/queendom of God is much greater than anything we can imagine, and we are to called to begin to live into this.

Elected officials do matter, and we must make decisions with wise and discerning hearts and minds. However, they are not the only things that matter. The president cannot halt the purposes of God, the president cannot thwart the purposes of God, and the president cannot bring about the purposes of God.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When we try to stand on a politician for stability, our foundation is that of sinking sand. When we put our faith in a politician, we will be crushed, when we put our hope in a politician we will be hope-less. We cannot allow our hope to be crushed or created by an election.

On Sunday, I am going to remind my congregation of all of this. If you are pleased with the outcome, don’t gloat too much, and if you’re disappointed with the outcome, don’t be too upset. Putting the bulk our faith, trust, and hope in politicians is idolatry, and there is more at work than we can see.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

3 thoughts on “Hump Day Hymns: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

  1. Jeannie

    It had never occurred to me before that putting our faith, hope, & trust in politicians is a kind of idolatry. Thank you for this reminder that “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

    Reply

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