Christ Our Hope in Life and Death

Many of us recently crossed a milestone on the road - our first Easter Sunday not celebrated inside the walls of a church, surrounded by fellow believers. It's a potent reminder that there is no guarantee that what has been or is will always be. Our customs and traditions - the very rhythm of life - can change in an instant. Even the gathering of God's people for worship and fellowship can be, as we have seen, amended on account of persecution, war or a pandemic.

Yet in the providence of God we have an opportunity to proclaim all the more the hope and assurance that the risen Christ has promised us. The opening lines of the 16th century Heidelberg Catechism ask us to answer: "What is your only comfort in life and in death?” In other words, when all else fails what are you left standing on? When faced with the prospect that tomorrow is not promised to be like today (or to even come), on what ground do you have any hope at all? The catechism answers: “I am not my own, but belong—body and soul in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”

If ever the church could use a reminder of that truth, it is now. Even when our voices are not heard by one another, nevertheless they are not stopped from proclaiming the gospel, from prayer and from praise. Even though we all rose to an Easter morning distant from one another, Christ is still risen from the dead and near to each one of us. And even though the coming weeks, months, or beyond are as uncertain as tomorrow we have a hope transcends time and space - an eternal hope.

Perhaps an understatement, but this is a new season for our church. As such, why not a new song to go along with it? A slew of talented and devoted hymn-writers has come together to put into melody these truths of God's Word upon which we stand. It is a fitting song for times such as these, and although it was written in such a way to encourage singing with one another, nevertheless I hope this song can be a balm in our homes until the day it can become an anthem in our pews. I look forward to learning it with you from afar, but I yearn to sing it with you soon.
VERSE 1
What is our hope in life and death?
Christ alone, Christ alone
What is our only confidence?
That our souls to him belong
Who holds our days within his hand?
What comes, apart from his command?
And what will keep us to the end?
The love of Christ, in which we stand

CHORUS
O sing hallelujah! Our hope springs eternal
O sing hallelujah! Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death

VERSE 2
What truth can calm the troubled soul?
God is good, God is good
Where is his grace and goodness known?
In our great Redeemer’s blood
Who holds our faith when fears arise?
Who stands above the stormy trial?
Who sends the waves that bring us nigh
Unto the shore, the rock of Christ?

VERSE 3
Unto the grave, what will we sing?
“Christ, he lives; Christ, he lives!”
And what reward will heaven bring?
Everlasting life with him
There we will rise to meet the Lord
Then sin and death will be destroyed
And we will feast in endless joy
When Christ is ours forevermore

Words and Music by Keith Getty, Matt Boswell, Jordan Kauflin, Matt Merker, Matt Papa
Copyright 2020 Getty Music Publishing (BMI) / Messenger Hymns (BMI) / Jordan Kauflin Music (BMI) / Matthew Merker Music (BMI) / Getty Music Hymns and Songs (ASCAP) / Love Your Enemies Publishing (ASCAP) / adm at MusicServices.org

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