My Hope is Built on Nothing Less (ELW 597)
1 My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
no merit of my own I claim,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
2 When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in ev’ry high and stormy gale
my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]
3 His oath, his covenant, his blood
sustain me in the raging flood;
when all supports are washed away,
he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]
4 When he shall come with trumpet sound,
oh, may I then in him be found,
clothed in his righteousness alone,
redeemed to stand before the throne! [Refrain]
This hymn is one our family has chosen to sing at family funerals. It sums up our understanding of where we turn in times of grief. Our hope is dependent on our faith in Jesus Christ. This is where we find comfort and a solid place to stand when something rocks our lives. When my brother-in-law died at age 55, our lives were rocked. Our family stood around his grave and boldly sang this hymn in the face of our grief and sorrow.
The text of this hymn well reflects the promise in this week’s readings. God’s promise of righteousness does not depend on our actions. We don’t have to earn our salvation. Jesus Christ is the source of hope and salvation. God has chosen each one of us to live in God’s kingdom—to be a part of the flock—as God’s precious redeemed child.
Gracious God, May the hope of Christ’s righteousness inspire us to live in the relationship of love God creates in us. Expand that gift of love in our hearts until it overflows in love for others. Amen.