Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Hope Is Built -- Hope Chronicles 27

As a college student, I fought the whole idea of singing hymns. They seemed antiquated and outdated. Just before my senior year, I spent a summer at InterVarsity's Student Leadership Training (SLT). It was fun and stretching month. While we sang more contemporary songs, there was also a healthy dose of old hymns mixed in. I came to love some of the theology in them.

Now, I am in a church where we mostly sing contemporary Christian music. Much of it has merit, but it doesn't have the anchor of hundreds of thousands of Christians through the ages singing it. Many of our worship leaders are younger. About a year ago, I was trying to put power point together for the service. We were going to sing Amazing Grace (one of the few hymns that make it in). I asked about which verses and he rattled off numbers. But when they sang, they seemed to skip one. I forget which one it was and I called his attention to it because it meant the numbers he had given me didn't match up. He was genuinely surprised it was a real verse and not something someone had recently made up!

The last few days, I have been thinking about this song -- My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less. It's never been one of my favorites. If hymns come to mind they tend to be Amazing Grace, Be Thou My Vision, And Can It Be, Great Is Thy Faithfulness.... So, I've been a bit surprised to find this hymn rattling around in my brain.

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness." What amazing words. While I know they are true, I also know that I find myself falling into the folly of thinking that there must be something I can do to "be good enough." I don't necessarily come right out and say it. But there is a "worker bee" mentality to me. If I can be kind enough, helpful enough, smart enough, good enough.

But that's where the second part comes in -- "no merit of my own I claim, but wholly lean on Jesus name." Nothing I do has enough merit. That is a humbling place to be. It really flies in the face of the American ideals -- the rags to riches, work hard enough, it only matters that you tried . . . .

While God may appreciate our efforts to get to know Him, He knows that in and of themselves, they are never enough. He knew that if my efforts were placed on the scales of justice against my sin, it would never be enough. So, He gave us the cross.

And it is more than enough for me and you . . . . So, while those things I do are good and God does call us to serve each other, I need to still my worker bee mindset and rest in knowing that my hope is built on Jesus blood and righteousness. No frantic trying is needed. For when Jesus died and rose again, it was simply -- enough.


Janel said...

Love your new blog look, Amy!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I like the look around here! What an appropriate hymn for this weekend. The words of old hymns are so full of meaning - though I don't sing them often either, I sure appreciate them.

By the way, I tagged you for a fun meme. Come look.

Nicki said...

I also love your new blog look!! It's great!! And this was an awesome post! "All other ground is sinking sand...." One of my fav's also!!