How Firm a Foundation (ELW 796)
1 How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in Christ Jesus, the Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said
who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2 “Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed,
for I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.”
3 “When through fi’ry trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply.
The flames shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.”
4 “Throughout all their lifetime my people shall prove
my sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
and then, when gray hairs shall their temples adorn,
like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.”
This year we have seen enormous buildings fall like dominoes—in Ukraine in the midst of the war from the onslaught of Russia, or as in this fall’s destruction from Hurricane Ian’s sweep through the Caribbean, Florida, and South Carolina. The lesson to be learned is that our true foundation is not in a building or anything of human origin, for that matter. Our trust and our hope are in God. Buildings as great as the temple may totter and fall, but we can build our lives founded on the unchanging grace and mercy of God. Verse two reminds us: “Fear not, I am with you, oh be not dismayed, for I am your God and will still give you aid.” As Jesus says in Luke 21: “Not a hair of your head will perish.” And as the hymnwriter writes, “when gray hairs shall their temples adorn, like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.”
Gracious God, in the midst of great suffering around the world, help us to put our ultimate trust in you. Amen.