O Christ, Our Hope
O Christ, our hope, our hearts’ desire,
creation’s mighty Lord.
Redeemer of the fallen world,
by holy love outpoured.
How vast your mercy to accept
the burden of our sin,
and bow your head in cruel death
to make us clean within.
Oh, let your mighty love prevail
to purge us of our pride,
that we may stand before your throne
by mercy purified.
All praise to you, ascended Lord;
all glory ever be
to Father, Son, and Spirit
blest through all eternity.
Latin Hymn trans. by John Chandler
If you have hope, what is your hope? What value does this hope have for your daily life?
Can you envision what it was like for Christ to die on the cross? It is a terribly slow, cruel death. For whom would you agree to endure something like that?
We are taught that Jesus died for all our sins. Why did this hymnwriter focus on pride? Do you think you are proud? What do you do because of your pride? How could you humble your pride and become a servant?
What image comes to mind when you read the fourth verse? See Revelation 7:9-17
Praise the Lord! O Heavens Adore Him
Praise the Lord! O heavens adore him;
Praise him angels, in the height;
Sun and moon, rejoice before him;
Praise him, gleaming stars and light.
Praise the Lord, for he has spoken;
Worlds his mighty voice obeyed;
Laws which never shall be broken
For their guidance he has made.
Praise the Lord, for he is gracious;
Never shall his promise fail.
God has made his saints victorious;
Sin and death shall not prevail.
Praise the God of our salvation;
Hosts on high, his power proclaim;
Heaven and earth, and all creation,
Laud and magnify his name.
Foundling Hospital Collection
Note: The Foundling Hospital was established to care for children whose parents were almost always unknown. The children were abandoned on doorsteps or found wandering through slums alone. The word “hospital” had a broader meaning than our perception of temporary, intense medical care. We would more likely call it an orphanage. This hymn was part of a collection published as a fund-raising project for the institution.
- This hymn evokes praise to be sung by children who never knew their parents and whose lives even in the Foundling Hospital were not pleasant by twenty-first century standards. Why should they praise the Lord?
- Have you ever observed a scene in which all nature appeared to be praising God, as this writer saw it?
- Why should we be comforted to hear that God’s laws of nature cannot be broken? What does that say about the ability of human beings to destroy what God has created?
- The hymn names two great enemies of human beings and asserts that they will not prevail in our lives. What are they, and why does the hymnwriter believe they cannot overpower us?
- To what promise of God do the words, “never shall his promise fail” refer?
- Have you ever known someone whose good name was destroyed either by himself or by the deliberate destructive words of others? Think of that situation, and then think about the way we speak of God. What exactly does the hymnwriter mean by inviting us to “laud and magnify” the name of God.