A Hymn for Meditation

hymnalThe Church’s One Foundation

The church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died

Elect from every nation,
yet one o’er all the earth;
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.

Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.

Text by Samuel J. Stone, 1839-190
Text in the Public Domain
From http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh545.sht

  •  According to this hymn, what is the single most important truth about the church? Any church? All churches?
  • What event is recognized by the words, “with his own blood he bought her?” Whose blood bought the church?
  • What is the important sacrament remembered in the words, “new creation by water and the word?” What is so important about this act? What is the role of the water? The word? Whose word is it?
  • Why are members of Christ’s church considered to be “the elect?”
  • What sacrament is recalled by the words, “On holy food?” Why is this food so important?
  • How does this hymn make a distinction between the faith experience in Christ’s church and a faith experience anywhere else? How does this hymn respond to someone who says, “I’m spiritual but not religious?”
  • The hymn says that Christians have union and communion. What is the difference?
  • What is the hope that Christ’s church looks toward?