Think About a Hymn

hymnal

O Christ, Our Hope

O Christ, our Hope, our heart’s Desire,
Redemption’s only Spring!
Creator of the world art Thou,
Its Savior and its King.

How vast the mercy and the love
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free.

But now the bands of death are burst,
The ransom has been paid,
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.

O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare;
O may we come before Thy throne,
And find acceptance there!

Unknown author
Translated from Latin by John Chandler, 1837
Text is in the public domain
Source: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/c/ocohohde.htm

The Bible is our ultimate source for truth, and any statement which purports to be insight into our faith must be tested against the Bible. The creeds of the church are wonderful tools that help us summarize our faith, both in reminding ourselves of truth and in explaining the reason for our faith to other people. Hymns also teach us by reinforcing biblical teaching, and singing hymns attracts the kind of thoughtful attention that might lead unbelieving individuals to consider what Christ has done for all people. The thought questions below are intended to help you consider how a hymn, the creeds and the Bible teaching all help us both to live our faith and to share our faith with others.

  • The Apostles’ Creed states that God the Father created heaven and earth. Where does the Bible tell us that this creative act is the work of God? How does the gospel of John explain Christ’s involvement in that act?
  • The Apostles’ Creed summarizes the teaching about Christ’s death in the words “was crucified, died and was buried.” Where does the Bible explain how Christ died and why he died?
  • The hymn celebrates the fact that “the bands of death are burst.” Why is that important? Where does the Bible tell how the “bands of death” were defeated? How does the Apostles’ Creed tell this part of Christ’s story?
  • The hymn writer refers to Jesus sitting on a throne and to our appearance before his throne. What does the Bible say about Jesus’ throne and our appearance there? How does the Apostles’ Creed sum up this part of Christ’s story?
  • When you want to share Jesus with someone, how do you decide what part of Christ’s story to mention first in the conversation? Have you ever tried to sum up the story of the whole Bible in conversation with someone? Think through the Apostles’ Creed and verify each statement with a text in the Bible. Does that exercise help you prepare to share Jesus with someone?

By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com. Watch for the release of Thrive! Live Christian in a Hostile World, planned for release in the winter of 2016

Image: Open Hymnal Source:http://foter.com/
License: CC BY-NC-SA

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